Obesity is commonly associated with lack of exercise and poor diet. But for some Americans, obesity starts at the genetic level. On Tuesday, Jan. 14, Evenings with Genetics, a regular speaker series hosted by Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital, will spotlight genetic disorders of obesity, from diagnosis to medical management.

Dr. Claudia Soler-Alfonso, assistant professor of molecular and human genetics at Baylor, will provide an overview of syndromic obesity, which involves other developmental abnormalities, and monogenic obesity, which involves a hormonal imbalance and increased eating. Her discussion will focus on the genetic basis and symptoms of these disorders.

“Current genetic technologies allow us to precisely identify genetic forms of obesity. Once we have that diagnosis, it will affect a patient’s healthcare management and treatment alternatives,” Soler-Alfonso said. “It also establishes risks for other family members who may have the same genetic cause of obesity.”

Dr. Stephanie Sisley, assistant professor of pediatrics – nutrition at Baylor and medical director for the Center for Genetic Disorders of Obesity at Texas Children’s Hospital, will explain the management and treatment options for patients with genetic obesity.

“Genetic forms of obesity are rare; however, the diagnosis often provides much needed help to families who have been searching for an answer for years,” Sisley said.

Evenings with Genetics aims to highlight the advances in genetic research as well as encourage networking between families with similar experiences. A guest parent speaker also will join the panel. The program is free and open to the public, but registration is required. The seminar will be held at the Children’s Museum of Houston, 1500 Binz St., 77004. Light refreshments will be provided beginning at 6:30 p.m., and the seminar will begin at 7 p.m. For more information, please call 832-822-4280 or visit the event’s registration page.