Nutrigenomics, diet and exercise play an important role in the development and treatment of obesity. The purpose of this presentation is to provide an overview of a gene-based personalised weight management approach based on current evidence.
Genetics can contribute to 40-70% of obesity. The rs9939609 and rs1558902 SNPs in the FTO gene have been consistently associated with obesity. Several meta-analyses of case-control, cross-sectional and cohort design studies in different populations have linked the SNPs to higher BMI, increased fat mass, increased cravings and preference for energy-rich of foods. Two randomised controlled trials from the POUNDS LOST study () showed that SNP carriers lost more weight than non-carriers on a high protein, calorie restricted diet over two years and reduced their cravings. A meta-analysis of case-control studies showed that physical activity reduced the risk of obesity in SNP carriers. The rs1801282 SNP in the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARG) has also been linked to obesity. The SNP results in decreased ability to convert the excess calories into body fat. Randomised controlled trials suggest that a diet with 25% of total daily calories from fat and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity are beneficial for weight loss in obese SNP carriers. Based on this evidence, to reduce the effect of the genetics on the weight, FTO SNP carriers should include 25% protein in the diet and restrict calories, along with a moderate regular physical activity. Depending on the PPARG SNP status, a low-fat diet may also be recommended. In conclusion, to date nutrigenomics studies show that dietary and exercise interventions can modulate the effect of genetic variants on obesity, suggesting that lifestyle treatments for obesity may be specifically tailored to individuals’ genetics. Further prospective RCTs are needed to study the effect of such gene-based diet for weight management.