Weight-Loss Regimens May Soon Be Tailored To Your Genes

Posted by on March 18, 2018 in Sci-Tech, Science with 18 Comments
walking-for-weight-loss-compressed

o5com via Flickr, CC by 2.0

By Alexandra Ossola | Popular Science

More than two thirds of the U.S. population qualifies as obese, a fact that has caused serious alarm among doctors and public health officials. Even people who successfully lose weight with diet, exercise, or medication only have a five-percent chance of keeping it off in the long term. But people looking to lose weight may soon be given regimens tailored to their unique genetic makeup, according to a study by an NIH working group published in the January 2016 issue of Obesity. The report authors are calling it precision weight loss.

Related Article: Meet the Scientists Whose Garden Unlocked the Secret To Good Health


Over the past few years, researchers have been decrypting the link between genes and obesity. There’s not just one obesity gene. A mutation in one gene makes energy from food more likely to be stored as fat instead of burned; another affects the levels of the hormone leptin, which could make a person more likely to overeat.

Related Article: Scientists and Activists Call for Ban on Human Gene Editing

Understanding those genes, combined with technologies that allow for constant monitoring of disease and nutrition, may make cookie-cutter diets a thing of the past. Patients could submit a cheek swab or saliva sample to a lab that sequences their DNA. The lab would feed the patient’s DNA, along with levels of activity, stress, and diet, gathered by FitBit-like sensors, into an algorithm. The program would then spit out recommendations for how patients can best reach their target weight. Though the report isn’t specific on what exactly those recommendations would look like (and how they would differ from typical diet-and-exercise regimens uninformed by a patient’s genetic makeup), a recent experiment found that patients who learned about their obesity-related mutations lost more weight in the course of a month than did those who just received advice. By shifting the cause of a patient’s obesity to something out of her control—like her genes—she may feel more empowered and motivated to stick to a weight loss regimen.

Related Article: We Can Now Edit Our DNA (with CRISPR-Cas9), So How Can We Do It Wisely?

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18 Reader Comments

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  1. 10153874338134048@facebook.com' Helen Starr Cummins says:

    They might spit it right back at you ?

  2. 10207950975363060@facebook.com' James P Moon says:

    Unless you’re morbidly obese don’t worry about losing weight.
    Chubby can be sexy if you dress correctly.

    Personality is much more important than weight.

  3. 10153105373206199@facebook.com' Lisa Wilsey says:

    People shouldn’t always just look at the number on the scale…your weight does not always indicate good health…we should stop promoting that a specific weight equals good health.

  4. 10153296966608663@facebook.com' Mandy Shargey says:

    They been doing this for a while already …..

  5. 1209257389089201@facebook.com' Judy Barrett says:

    Great idea!

  6. 526928594139926@facebook.com' Somaya Islam says:

    creating new products …. again…!

  7. 1623060074642528@facebook.com' Adam Wells says:

    Stay active and make sensible food choices… don’t have a restrictive diet and stop worrying about body image.

  8. 10207822935348485@facebook.com' Lilly Boyer says:

    I feel like people are putting way too much thought into losing weight. All you need to do is burn more calories than you are consuming and eat healthy. I actually just recently started using this recipe book that I found on the internet,its all about eating healthy and still being able to make food that tastes good. Some of the recipes are actually really freaking good and they are still healthy plus I have lost a few pounds :). I would recommend if you are trying to eat healthy or want to start that you read this

    http://naturalstories.com/healthyeating/

  9. 10153503093720325@facebook.com' Amanda Nicole says:

    Just use you’re blood type to find a diet…genetics can be altered…

  10. 10204777305181142@facebook.com' Charley Danielle Mears says:

    I.gave up eating meat and cheese, the weight just fell off. And I was eating raw till.4 vegan. So lots of food on that lifestyle.
    If you want to weigh less, eat your weight in fruit, veggies, and potatos.
    My bestie was like you are so skinny, I’m scared, and I was like dude, you always see me with a banana I’m my.hand, I’m good.

  11. 893271907446841@facebook.com' Beverly Clough Waddell says:

    Riiiight… Put your DNA out there.

  12. 1505962539700580@facebook.com' Dillon Leach says:

    So what if I want to gain weight ?

  13. 10201114119652214@facebook.com' Judey Dale says:

    Wish I could do that

  14. 1254002554616574@facebook.com' Sonya Graziano says:

    Maria Femia Lisa Perrotta

  15. Anonymous says:

    Connor Daley

  16. 10153150594067890@facebook.com' Katrina Vavdinos says:

    Amen!!

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