Using genetics to figure out the right diet could be the future of weight loss.
A new discovery by scientists at the University of Texas could completely alter the future of dieting.
Instead of a one size fits all approach, scientists have discovered that basing a diet on the genes of the individual person may be the more effective approach, according to a UPI report.
The study predicts that this could all happen within five years, although it will take improved analytical tools to help doctors design a diet for a specific patient. And it will take more research to learn more about the genes tied to weight gain and loss. Right now, scientists have only found a gene that causes energy to be stored as fat rather than burned.
Researchers examined genetic tests and weight change research to come to their conclusions, which were published in the journal Obesity.
“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,” Molly Bray, a geneticist and professor of nutritional sciences at The University of Texas at Austin, said in a statement on the university’s website. “We are pretty good at helping people lose weight in the short term. But the stats on long-term weight loss are pretty dismal. We still don’t understand the process of weight regain very well, either from a behavioral or a biological standpoint.”
She added: “When you go back and see how much of the variation in this gene accounts for the variation in body size in the general population, it’s really small. So that highlights that there are going to be several genes involved with obesity, and they’re going to interact with each other in complicated ways. And that’s certainly true of weight loss and maintenance too.”