our world of designer clothes, cars, jewelry, furniture and cookware,
consider a designer diet based on your DNA.
field of nutrigenomics matches your genotype with a food plan that is
supposed to maximize your ability to lose weight. The multibillion
dollar weight loss industry makes it as easy as one, two, three.
First, you swab your saliva. Next, you send it to a company
specializing in DNA diets. Finally, you receive the analysis or your
genotype along with a meal plan that complements your DNA. Prices
begin at just under $200.
Since our genes
determine the expression of cells in your body, including how you
absorb, metabolize and store food, the theory is solid. Dr. Roy
Silverstein, chairman of the Department of Medicine at the Medical
College of Wisconsin, says, "If we can begin to use some of this
genetic data to develop individualized approaches, that in some ways
would be the holy grail of weight loss."
But having your
genotype and knowing what to do with it are two different things;
Silverstein says interpreting the information is in its infancy.
"We’d love to continue doing research to one day find that
genetic answer, but we’re still years away from getting there."
mean a DNA diet won’t work. "If you have the motivation to
stick with any low-calorie diet you will lose weight, but spending
money on a DNA analysis is probably premature at this point,"
Your Body Type:Diet Fact or Fiction?
Diets based on
your body type are a close relative to a DNA diet. After all, our
genes help determine where we put weight on and take it off. Here
again, researchers in southeastern Wisconsin believe you are better
off sticking to the basics: Eat less, move more, stay motivated.
Moosreiner, a registered dietitian at the Medical College of
Wisconsin, says, "There is no body of science that tells you
eating certain foods related to your body shape will do a better job
at helping you lose weight." However your body type can signal
your degree of danger for obesity-related illness including diabetes,
heart disease and hypertension.
Body Type — New Shape in Town
Have you ever
heard a premenopausal woman complain about "getting thick in the
middle?" Tell her she’s a brand new body type recognized by
scientists called the Avocado. Moosreiner explains, "This is most
prevalent among women in their late 30s and 40s. As a woman begins
losing estrogen her fat distribution may change, moving from the
thighs closer to the middle of her body."
Shape and Related Health Risk
Your body type
can signal an increased risk in certain diseases such as diabetes,
heart disease and high blood pressure. Size up your body type and
health risk below.
You store fat in
your abdomen placing you in the danger zone. Belly fat is more prone
to inflammation and inflammation triggers disease.
Your stored fat
distribution is moving north from the butt and thighs to the abdomen.
Beware: You could be a pear morphing into an apple.
curves are hard to come by. The hourglass is the least common shape.
You gain weight in your arms, chest, hips and butt. Manage your weight
and you’re good to go.
You carry extra
weight in your hips, buttocks and thighs. That’s the bad news. The
good news is this isn’t as dangerous as having a big tummy.
This is the most
common body shape among women. You tend to be thin and your fat is
distributed evenly. If you gain weight it may be in the tummy, so be
Moosreiner, a registered dietician at Medical College of
Wisconsin, suggests adult women try this meal plan to help lose
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