Manifestations of genetic risk and intergenerational transmission of risk for eating disorders (MoBa-Eat)

Project description and people for MoBaEat


Eating disorders are associated with high rates of chronicity, comorbidity, and mortality, and inflict severe suffering on patients and families. Without treatment, eating disorders and related health consequences tend to worsen over time. Despite this, European health care services detect only one third of youths with eating disorders. Further, although eating disorders run in families, the intergenerational transmission pathways are largely unknown. The project has a unique position to generate novel insight about the development of eating disorders by using state-of-the-art genetic methods and rich data on children and parents from the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa). Access to genome-wide-association study summary data from international consortia allow us to calculate the genetic risk for eating disorders in >200,000 MoBa participants. We aim to examine the early manifestations (i.e., signs, symptoms) of genetic risk in males and females across development. Leveraging the family design in MoBa we also aim to disentangle genetic and environmental modes of risk transmission from parents to offspring. Lastly, we will use the rich data to identify environmental factors that reduce (or increase) adverse phenotypic expressions of the genetic risk. Knowledge of developmental patterns, sex differences, modes of transmission, and protective factors, will aid early detection, identification of intervention targets, and optimal timing of interventions.

Contact person: 

A man with a beard

Laurie Hannigan



Last updated 1/29/2024