A new study published online in the journal Obesity, explains how genetics is one of the most important factors when designing a diet for gaining or losing weight, since each person has certain conditions which are relative and can interfere in the way they process the food. It appears that new DNA-based diets will be available by 2020.

The professor and geneticist Molly Bray, who leads the new study, said the technology will be able to help patients decide how to act in order to lose or gain weight, in just five years.

Scientists state that personalized DNA-based diets will be available by 2020. Credit: Huffington Post

Researchers remarked that the causes for obesity and body composition have been well studied, but they added that genetics plays a very important role since they studied families and twins. Obesity levels are increasing worldwide. According to the World Health Organization, by 2008 more than 1.4 billion adults were overweight and more than half a billion were obese.

“I think within five years, we’ll see people start to use a combination of genetic, behavioral and other sophisticated data to develop individualized weight-management plans,” said lead author Molly Bray, a geneticist and professor of nutritional sciences at the University of Texas at Austin.

The understanding of the genome is overriding to understand how the diet would function and how it works. According to the Human Genome Project, an investigation coordinated by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Institutes of Health, the genome is an organism’s complete of DNA. It is known that every genome holds all of the information needed to construct and maintain that organism.

Worldwide, thousands of scientists are monitoring genome sequences of people to analyze the information in order to produce weight loss programs. Bray said obesity is one of the gravest problems of our times and prevention must be applied, however, she remarked that thousands of obese people are in search of new strategies to lose weight in the long-term.

Obesity in the U.S.

According to the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity from the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention (CDC), more than one-third (34.9 percent of 78.6 million) of adults from the nation are obese, conditions related to obesity include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer.

The CDC also wrote that the medical costs for people who are obese were $1,429 higher than those of normal weight, in general, obesity generated a medical cost of $147 billion in the U.S. in 2008. The Organization State of Obesity said that 23 of 25 states with the highest rates of obesity are in the South and Midwest.

Healthy food may vary for everyone

A new study published last month in the journal Cell found out that blood glucose level responses between individuals to same foods can differ extensively. Researchers of the study created an algorithm that could predict glucose responses in different people from different food.  

According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), high blood glucose, which is known as hyperglycemia, is related to several health problems such as Type II diabetes, liver disease, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.

Results would appear to show that even when participants consumed almost the same meals, they all had a high level of variability in their glucose responses. The first meal of every day was standardized by scientists so they could measure glucose levels from different people while eating the same food at the same time.

An interesting thing about the research is that scientists developed a new algorithm with all the data they have obtained. The formula would predict blood glucose responses to different foods based on people’s individual factors such as exercise, sleep, and the presence of specific bacteria and microbiome features in their stomachs.

Researchers of the study used the algorithm to assign people better diets according to their physiological features and they obtained lower blood glucose responses. The obtained results are just part of the beginning of an era where people will have strictly personalized diets according to multiple factors that work differently to everybody.

Source: Journal Obesity