Cutting through the ‘dieting din’: Your DNA won’t help you lose weight

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Many consumer DNA testing companies have pledged to cut through the dieting din with personalized advice. Different diets work for different people, and, the thinking goes, our genetics might provide useful insight into what might work for each of us.

But, according to a new study published [February 20] in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the secrets to dieting success are not encrypted in our genetic code. Or at least, that code has yet to be decrypted in any way that is useful to dieters.

Scientists at Stanford worked with 609 overweight adults, randomly assigning them a healthy low-fat or healthy low-carbohydrate diet, then checking in after a year. The researchers looked at biological factors such as genetics and insulin secretion levels, hunting for clues as to how those factors influenced how much weight trial participants were able to shed. The result? A person’s genetic makeup didn’t seem to influence how much weight they lost, no matter the diet. Neither diet seemed to make much difference, either. Nor did levels of insulin secretion.

More than 150 genetic variants associated with weight have been identified. A much smaller number of genes have been associated with body weight change. A better understanding of those genes and how they interact to help us regulate our weight is probably necessary before doctors can dole out DNA-tailored diets.

Read full, original post: Your DNA Cannot Tell You How to Diet—Yet

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