Industry campaign calls for personalised nutrition recognition as model to improve national health
The British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine (BANT) identifies the rise of nutrigenomics as a primary drivers of PN, citing its potential to translate insights into protocols or ‘Nutrigenetic Counselling’.
Other personalised tools harness technology in the form of tracking tools to monitor body composition and symptoms that could encourage people to focus on individual health concerns.
“The one-size-fits-all model is ineffective and out-dated. It’s time to move forward from counting calories and start promoting the nutrient content and quality of food,” says BANT CEO, Satu Jackson.
BANT’s comments are timed to coincide with the launch of ‘The Food for your Health Campaign’ that acknowledges the modifiable factors present in obesity and related metabolic conditions such as Type 2 Diabetes and Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease.
The campaign calls for a food first approach, recognising PN as a superior alternative to generalised public health campaigns which continually fall short of delivering improved health outcomes.
“Diet and lifestyle are modifiable factors that individuals can embrace in the pursuit of improved health and wellbeing,” explains BANT.
“The importance of individual health has never been so apparent as during this current pandemic.
“Encouraging people to make simple but effective steps to optimise their nutritional intake as prevention for diet-induced illness is fundamental to improving the overall health of individuals, and the nation.”
PN has potential
While, small changes to diet and lifestyle habits can help support health and wellbeing and prevent diet-induced illness, BANT adds the concept of PN is still evolving to truly become an integral part of the future healthcare paradigm.
Nevertheless, the progress made particularly from startup firms, coupled with interest from retail and pharma, suggests PN’s mainstream angle may be as a service akin to personalised medicine or shopping.
An individual data-led approach formed the basis for an in-store genetic test that directed the consumer to make healthier personalised choices, based on their DNA profile.
PN firm DnaNudge, takes genetic data taken from a cheek swab which is then tested in the brand's patented NudgeBox, the firm’s innovation that extracts DNA from the sample.
NudgeBox will also identify specific SNP's (a 'snip' is a single 'letter' out of the 3 billion in the human DNA code), relating to nutrition-related health conditions are analysed.
From the data gathered, DnaNudge are able to generate a personalised DNA report for the user based on key nutrition-related health traits.
Likewise, PN startup Clear Health Programme, includes a personalised medicine element to its offerings, by running a programme that asks users to wear a glucose monitoring patch.
Here, food, mood, exercise and sleep data is logged in order for the programme to discover their baseline.
From there the wearer diversifies diet and exercise until week three, where numbers are crunched, and the service recommends what foods produce the best glucose responses for the individual.
The service offers consumers with data analysis, a personalised diet, coaching, recipes, reminders, suggestions, and a community of other service users with whom they can interact in order to discover just how individual their own diet and exercise responses are.
More on BANT’s campaign, which is scheduled to run for a minimum of 18 months, can be found here.