ISSN 1470-3947 (print) | ISSN 1479-6848 (online)

Endocrine Abstracts (2019) 63 S20.1 | DOI: 10.1530/endoabs.63.S20.1

Precision nutrition for managing obesity - does it work?

Carlos Celis-Morales


Background: The epidemic of obesity, together with its associated health burden, continues to spread globally. It is estimated that approximately 2.1 billion adults worldwide are now classified as overweight or obese. Thus, there is an urgent need to develop more effective strategies for preventing and managing obesity. Most population strategies to reduce the rising prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) have used a ‘one size fits all’ public health recommendations, e.g. ‘eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables daily’. However, the global burden of NCDs continues to rise, emphasising the need for more effective prevention strategies.

Results: Recent findings from randomised controlled trials have suggested new personalised approaches for the prevention and treatment of obesity, as an alternative to the current strategy of ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. Personalised Nutrition (PN), also called Precision Nutrition, has been developed to deliver Personalised interventions designed according to key characteristics of the individual participants (including but not limited to socio-demographics, biomarkers, phenotypic, microbiome and genetic characteristics). The more tailored the intervention, the more sophisticated and potentially expensive it will be to acquire, analyse and act upon those participant characteristics. However, with interventions becoming increasingly plausible on a large scale, thanks to smartphone technology and internet accessibility, some have begun to view PN as a novel way to deliver the right dietary intervention to the wider population. This talk will explore existing evidence, including the Food4Me study, one of the largest personalised trials conducted to date and provide an insight into the real benefits of personalised interventions for obesity management and prevention. Moreover, I will discuss how genetics and novel biomarkers, could be used to improve the design and effectiveness of future personalised interventions and whether existing evidence justifies the use of more sophisticated interventions, to tackle the current obesity epidemic.

Conclusions: Is personalised or Precision Nutrition the way forward?

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