Researchers studying weight-gain and weight-loss have set a goal: in five years time the genome-targeted diet should become reality. The array of weight-loss plans, diets has spanned areas from downright insane to healthy to useless fads in the past decades. Think the ice diet, the ice cream diet or the cabbage soup diet.
Yet none of these fads have been able to gather a long-term batch of supporters. As to why, the answer is simple. Long-term weight-loss or understanding the processes behind weight-gain are in reality work in progress. The newly published study, featuring in the journal Obesity puts forth a number of arguments as to why these diets fail. In addition it proposes that the focus is switched to understanding how genes fare in weight-gain and weight-loss. Lastly, it proposes that in five years time the genome-targeted diet should become reality.
Recent research has established the roles of certain genes in these complex processes. For some people, try as they might, weight-loss is simply unattainable. Or long-term at least. Thus, with the genome-targeted diet, the researchers propose a tailored approach including data from nutritionists, health experts, psychologists and physiologists as well. The genome-targeted diet could be customized according to each person’s specific genetic make up, taking into consideration a wide array of influencing factor.
All we have to do is offer a saliva sample for a thorough DNA analysis. In addition to the results of the DNA analysis, the research team proposes that environmental factors and stress levels are also taken into account. Such a complete data set could feed the customized diet according to each person’s needs and specificities.
With gene sequencing already available, the five years timeframe seems realistic. This year, in October, researchers found that one genetic variation produces a protein responsible for regulating appetite. Further back, in August, another research team looked at a gene which is believed to play a role in fat accumulation. Several other genes or genetic variations may be linked to a variety of factors contributing to weight-gain and reversely to weight-loss.
Thus, during the five years timeframe the researchers plan to unravel as many of these associations and correlations as possible. Following, a system would be set in place that can accurately design a genome-targeted diet, customized to one person or a small subset of the population.
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