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Can genetic-based advice help you lose weight? Findings from the Food4Me European randomized controlled trial

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Carlos Celis Morales, Dr Katherine Livingstone, Professor Lorraine Brennan, Professor John Mathers



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by American Society for Nutrition , 2017.

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Background: There has been limited evidence about whether genotype-tailored advice provides extra benefits in reducing obesity-related traits compared with the benefits of conventional one-size-fits-all advice. Objective: We determined whether the disclosure of information on fat-mass and obesity-associated (FTO) genotype risk had a greater effect on a reduction of obesity-related traits in risk carriers than in nonrisk carriers across different levels of personalized nutrition. Design: A total of 683 participants (women: 51%; age range: 18–73 y) from the Food4Me randomized controlled trial were included in this analysis. Participants were randomly assigned to 4 intervention arms as follows: level 0, control group; level 1, dietary group; level 2, phenotype group; and level 3, genetic group. FTO (single nucleotide polymorphism rs9939609) was genotyped at baseline in all participants, but only subjects who were randomly assigned to level 3 were informed about their genotypes. Level 3 participants were stratified into risk carriers (AA/AT) and nonrisk carriers (TT) of the FTO gene for analyses. Height, weight, and waist circumference (WC) were self-measured and reported at baseline and months 3 and 6. Results: Changes in adiposity markers were greater in participants who were informed that they carried the FTO risk allele (level 3 AT/AA carriers) than in the nonpersonalized group (level 0) but not in the other personalized groups (level 1 and 2). Mean reductions in weight and WC at month 6 were greater for FTO risk carriers than for noncarriers in the level 3 group [−2.28 kg (95% CI: −3.06, −1.48 kg) compared with −1.99 kg (−2.19, −0.19 kg), respectively (P = 0.037); and −4.34 cm (−5.63, −3.08 cm) compared with −1.99 cm (−4.04, −0.05 cm), respectively, (P = 0.048)]. Conclusions: There are greater body weight and WC reductions in risk carriers than in nonrisk carriers of the FTO gene. This trial was registered at as NCT01530139.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Celis-Morales C, Marsaux CFM, Livingstone KM, Navas-Carretero S, San-Cristobal R, Fallaize R, Macready AL, O'Donovan C, Woolhead C, Forster H, Kolossa S, Daniel H, Moschonis G, Mavrogianni C, Manios Y, Surwillo A, Traczyk I, Drevon CA, Grimaldi K, Bouwman J, Gibney MJ, Walsh MC, Gibney ER, Brennan L, Lovegrove JA, Martinez JA, Saris WHM, Mathers JC

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Year: 2017

Volume: 105

Issue: 5

Pages: 1204-1213

Print publication date: 01/05/2017

Online publication date: 05/04/2017

Acceptance date: 03/03/2017

Date deposited: 26/04/2017

ISSN (print): 0002-9165

ISSN (electronic): 1938-3207

Publisher: American Society for Nutrition


DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.116.145680

PubMed id: 28381478


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