Study shines a light on relationship between genes, diet and obesity

June 26, 2013, CORDIS
Study shines a light on relationship between genes, diet and obesity
Credit: Shutterstock

A project involving 29 partners from across Europe has successfully identified a number of innovative products and dietary regimes that could help individuals susceptible to weight gain avoid becoming obese. The project represents an important step towards addressing this critical health issue, and realising the full commercial potential of the dietary market.

While the rapid growth in across Europe has been well documented, our understanding of exactly why some kids are more susceptible than others remains open to debate. Scientists know that obesity is determined largely by , but the extent to which can play a role is contentious.

Achieving a better understanding of the multiple causes of obesity is therefore important, as this will lead to more effective health strategies. The EU-funded DIOGENES ('Diet, Obesity and Genes') project contributed to this objective by gaining deeper insight into this disease from a dietary perspective.

The project's primary dietary focus was identifying that can facilitate a healthy weight maintenance after weight loss, and specifically the role of carbohydrates and proteins in enhancing satiety (feeling full). To examine this critically, the project embarked on a long-term randomised study of families across eight countries. The aim was to identify gene-nutrient interactions linked with changes in and .

During the project, overweight or obese parents followed an eight-week weight loss programme using a low-calorie formula diet. Another research line focused on gene-nutrient interaction associated with changes in body weight and metabolism, in order to guide a diet-based control of weight. One of the main goals was to highlight factors (genes, transcripts or proteins) that could help to predict the ability of an individual to lose weight under energy restriction (reduced ), or to maintain the reduced weight.

DIOGENES also sought to gain a better understanding of the link between obesity, genes and diet at the population level. Access to long-term clinical and nutritional data gave the project a unique opportunity to identify the role of the key dietary factors high protein intake and low glycemic index foods and gene-nutrient interactions associated with changes in body weight and waist circumference. The project also assessed the lifestyle and psycho-social aspects of food intake in order to identify key psychological / behavioural predictors of weight gain, for use in diagnosing risk and for better matching diets to consumer needs. The project also developed low-calorie high protein but tasty foods for consumers thinking of weight-gain issues.

A centralised data hub was established to ensure that all information generated in relation to the project would be optimally integrated, stored, secured, and documented also for further analysis of the data set.

Explore further: National survey highlights perceived importance of dietary protein to prevent weight gain

Related Stories

National survey highlights perceived importance of dietary protein to prevent weight gain

April 26, 2013
Atkins Diet, Zone Diet, South Beach Diet, etc., etc., etc. Chances are you have known someone who has tried a high protein diet. In fact, according to the International Food Information Council Foundation, 50% of consumers ...

Calorie-restricted weight loss restores ghrelin sensitivity

January 21, 2013
(HealthDay)—In a mouse model, calorie-restricted weight loss reverses the high-fat diet-induced ghrelin resistance that may contribute to rebound weight gain, according to research published online Jan. 10 in Endocrinology.

Study shows link between weight gain during infancy and risk factors for heart disease

May 30, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—Weight gain during infancy is directly linked to increased risks of obesity, high blood pressure and arterial wall thickening later in life, and the best way to avoid this is to breastfeed, according to ...

Gene variants may play role in obesity

June 17, 2013
(HealthDay)—Two new studies offer some solace to those who can't control their weight despite diet and exercise by providing more evidence that genetics may play a role in obesity.

'Eating more protein' strategy helps women lose weight

May 11, 2013
(HealthDay)—Women who report "eating more protein" as a weight loss strategy achieve weight loss over two years, according to a study published in the May issue of the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.

Recommended for you

Where you live may influence whether you are overweight, study finds

January 23, 2018
The old real estate adage of "location, location, location" may also apply to obesity.

Evening hours may pose higher risk for overeating, especially when under stress, study finds

January 16, 2018
Experiments with a small group of overweight men and women have added to evidence that "hunger hormone" levels rise and "satiety (or fullness) hormone" levels decrease in the evening. The findings also suggest that stress ...

Bariatric surgery prolongs lifespan in obese

January 16, 2018
Obese, middle-age men and women who had bariatric surgery have half the death rate of those who had traditional medical treatment over a 10-year period, reports a study that answers questions about the long-term risk of the ...

Sugar-sweetened drinks linked to overweight and obesity in children, adults: Analysis of new studies

December 23, 2017
A new review of the latest evidence on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs)- which includes 30 new studies published between 2013 and 2015 (and none of them industry sponsored) - concludes that SSB consumption is associated with ...

As income rises, women get slimmer—but not men

December 21, 2017
(HealthDay)—A comprehensive survey on the widening American waistline finds that as paychecks get bigger, women's average weight tends to drop.

Policy and early intervention can curb obesity rates

December 18, 2017
More information and emphasis on dietary lifestyle changes that prevent obesity, and its comorbidities, have not reduced the rise in obesity in U.S. adults and adolescents, according to a recent study in the New England Journal ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.