What is the ideal diet? It’s a question that’s been a hot topic of debate and controversy for years (generations?!) among the general public and academic community.
With the growing emphasis and awareness of precision or personalized medicine, the potential for tailoring a person’s dietary intake based on his or her genetic make-up in order to optimize health and weight is intriguing, although hope and hype seem to outweigh reality, at least based on where the science is at currently. Along those lines, a recent story from the New York Times summarized the results from a timely, larger-scale study (available HERE at JAMA) designed to compare the effects of two diets (low fat vs low carb), both of which focused on increasing dietary quality rather than energy restriction; researchers also included a specific focus to examine gene-diet interactions.
The results? In the end, both groups of adults with overweight or obesity lost weight, regardless of their genotype (or insulin secretion, for that matter), suggesting that the quality of the diets explained the degree of weight loss (avg. weight loss: 10 – 13 lbs over 12 months). While it’s important to consider the totality of evidence in the field rather than relying on the results of a single study, the conduct and reporting of this trial were excellent, which (as we reported previously) cannot be said of many obesity-related trials.
Over the coming weeks, it’s likely that individuals with different agendas/beliefs/personal experiences/products to sell will weigh in on the findings from this study; however, the results revealed how practical, common-sense dietary recommendations + support from dietitians and other health care professionals can help individuals with overweight and obesity to improve their weight and health.