Weight loss in the genes, not jeans

2012-09-29 18:34

Have you tried every popular diet under the sun and every exercise regime in the book to lose weight?

Well, maybe it’s time to stop sadly eyeing the waist of your jeans and look to your genes instead.

A new system designed by local company DNAlysis Biotechnology suggests the secret to weight loss may be hiding in plain sight – in your DNA.

Yael Joffe, a dietician and director of DNAlysis Biotechnology, says an individual’s reaction to any weight-loss plan is the result of an interaction between their genes, phenotype – measurements of the body’s current state, from weight to body fat to blood sugar – and their diet, lifestyle and environment.

“For some, the answer may lie in adjusting fats and carbs. For others, it may be as simple as identifying the right type of exercise,” she said.

Either way, Joffe said, “molecular technology could possibly spell the end of the roller coaster ride of weight loss for many”.

Another dietician, Helen de Beer – who is affiliated to the company – echoed Joffe’s sentiments.

De Beer said: “One of the reasons weight-loss plans fail most people is that they are trying diets that are not compatible with their genes.

“There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to losing weight because our genes are different.

“The more we learn about the genes responsible for weight management, the more evident it ­becomes that we can’t prescribe a one-size-fits-all plan for weight loss,” said Joffe.

“Even the extent to which we ­respond to exercise differs substantially from one person to the next.”

But getting genetically clued up about your weight-loss style was just the beginning, Joffe cautioned.
“You need to consider the ­impact that past dieting regimes and other health factors have had on your metabolism, as well as how current lifestyle and ­diet affect your physiology.”

DNA testing can be done by a dietician as part of a weight-loss plan.

It’s a fairly costly procedure. The laboratory test costs R1 350, excluding a dietician’s consultation fees.

» Read: Joffe on eating plans that work for some.

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