Purpose of review: The purpose of this review is to summarize recent advances in investigations of dietary factors, genetic factors, and their interactive effects on obesity and weight loss.
Recent findings: Even with a tremendous body of research conducted, controversy still abounds regarding the relative effectiveness of various weight-loss diets. Recent advances in genome-wide association studies have made great strides in unraveling the genetic basis of regulation of body weight. In prospective cohorts, reproducible evidence is emerging to show interactions between genetic factors and dietary factors such as sugar-sweetened beverage on obesity. In randomized clinical trials, individuals’ genotypes have also been found to modify diet interventions on weight loss, weight maintenance, and changes in related metabolic traits such as lipids, insulin resistance, and blood pressure. However, replication, functional exploration, and translation of the findings into personalized diet interventions remain the chief challenges.
Summary: Preliminary but promising data have emerged to lend support to gene–diet interaction in determining weight loss and maintenance; and studies in the area hold great promise to inform future personalized diet interventions on the reduction of obesity and related health problems.
aDepartment of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health
bChanning Division of Network Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Correspondence to Dr Lu Qi, MD, PhD, Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, 665 Huntington Ave, MA 02115, Boston, USA. Tel: +1 617 432 4116; fax: +1 617 432 2435; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org