Food and Behaviour Research

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24 April 2017 - NutraIngredients - Study unlocks how genes may affect dietary preferences

Stephen Daniells

Genes involved in behavioral and psychological traits appear to drive a significant part of someone’s food preferences and dietary habits, says a new study from Spain.

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Genes involved in behavioral and psychological traits appear to drive a significant part of someone’s food preferences and dietary habits, says a new study from Spain.

Results showed that the genes they studied did play a significant role in a person's food choices and dietary habits. Higher chocolate intake and a larger waist size were associated with certain forms of the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR), while an obesity-associated gene (FTO) played a role in vegetable and fiber intake. They also observed that certain genes were involved in salt (CREB1 and GABRA2) and fat intake (SLC6A2).

“The knowledge gained through our study will pave the way to better understanding of eating behavior and facilitate the design of personalized dietary advice that will be more amenable to the individual, resulting in better compliance and more successful outcomes,” said Berciano.

The researchers said they plan to perform similar investigations in other groups of people with different characteristics and ethnicities to better understand the applicability and potential impact of these findings.

They also want to investigate whether the identified genetic variants associated with food intake are linked to increased risks for disease or health problems.