Do workplace health programs lead to better dietary choices based on genetics?

Oct 05, 2021 11:00pm

I am excited to attend my first event in over 18 months this week. I have to admit I also feel a tiny bit nervous, but I am sure it will be worth it.

In this week's newsletter: Latest research; New Singapore startup Moom health launches; Nestle's new whey protein product and much more!

Happy reading! 



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Research Update


A lifestyle intervention with an energy-restricted Mediterranean diet and physical activity enhances HDL function: a substudy of the PREDIMED-Plus randomized controlled trial

This study included 391 adults with metabolic syndrome. It aimed to "determine whether an intensive lifestyle intervention with an energy-restricted Mediterranean diet plus physical activity (n=190) enhanced HDL function compared to a non-hypocaloric Mediterranean eating pattern without physical activity (n=201)". The results show: "The intensive-lifestyle intervention participants displayed greater 6-month weight reductions (−3.83 kg) but no changes in HDL cholesterol compared with control-diet participants. Regarding HDL functional traits, the intensive lifestyle decreased triglyceride levels (−0.15 mg/g protein) and apoC-III (−0.11 mg/g protein) compared to the control diet, with weight loss being the essential mediator".


Effects of a low-carbohydrate diet on insulin-resistant dyslipoproteinemia—a randomized controlled feeding trial

This study aimed to determine how diets varying in carbohydrate and saturated fat (Low-Carb: 20% carbohydrate, 21% saturated fat; Moderate-Carb: 40%, 14%; High-Carb: 60%, 7%) affect cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors, after 10–14% weight loss in 164 participants. The diets were implemented for 20 weeks and lipoprotein insulin resistance (LPIR) score was measured for analysis discussion. The results show: "A low-carbohydrate diet, high in saturated fat, improved insulin-resistant dyslipoproteinemia and lipoprotein(a), without adverse effect on LDL cholesterol. Carbohydrate restriction might lower CVD risk independently of body weight, a possibility that warrants study in major multicentered trials powered on hard outcomes".


Genetic risk for obesity and the effectiveness of the ChooseWell 365 workplace intervention to prevent weight gain and improve dietary choices

This study included 397 hospital employees (with European ancestry), for 24 months (12-mo intervention followed by a 12-mo follow-up). It aimed to "examine associations between BMI genetic risk and changes in weight and workplace purchases". To measure this, hospital cafeterias utilized a traffic-light labeling system (e.g., green = healthy, red = unhealthy). It was used to calculate a validated Healthy Purchasing Score (HPS; higher = healthier). Also, a weighted genome-wide BMI genetic score was generated using BMI-increasing alleles. The results show: "having a high BMI genetic risk was associated with greater increases in BMI and lower quality purchases over 2 y. The 12-mo behavioral intervention improved employees’ food choices, regardless of the genetic burden, and may have attenuated weight gain conferred by having the genetic risk".  


Metabolite patterns link diet, obesity, and type 2 diabetes in a Hispanic population

This study aims "to identify metabolic signatures of T2D and dietary factors unique to obesity". It included a subsample of the Boston Puerto Rican Health Study (BPRHS) population with a high prevalence of obesity and T2D, with a 5-year follow-up. The results show "24 of 120 metabolites were replicated and were associated with T2D incidence". Phosphatidylethanolamine (PE), long-chain fatty acids, and glutamate metabolism were the three metabolic pathways represented. In terms of diet elevated intake of three food groups; energy-dense takeout food, dairy intake, and sugar-sweetened beverages were associated with 13 metabolites represented by the three pathways.


Gut Microbiome Alterations in COVID-19

This review shows that patients with COVID-19 suffer a significant change in their gut microbiome. The characteristics reveal a decrease in microbial diversity, an enrichment of opportunistic bacteria, fungi, and viruses, and a decrease in symbiotic bacteria and bacteriophages. This status prevails after COVID-19 infection (post-COVID-19 status), which interferes with patients' full recovery.




Technology News


Apple looks to digital biomarkers for features detecting depression, cognitive decline

By studying data collected regarding a users’ mobility, physical activity, and sleep pattern, Apple is trying to create an algorithm that can be added as a digital biomarker to help detect depression and early-stage cognitive decline.


Women’s focus: New Singapore personalized nutrition firm Moom Health outlines ambitious growth plans

Moom Health is a personalized nutrition firm that aims to focus on women's health and their specific issues like PCOS, hormonal acne, and eczema. The journey begins with a free online quiz that provides recommendations about which supplements to take (on average four to five). If the customer decides to take Moom's supplements, it’s available as a monthly subscription that has 30 packets of personalized supplements.



Let food be thy medicine? NHSc’s whey protein microgel may help Type 2 diabetes glucose levels

Nestlé Health Science (NHSc) has developed a whey protein microgel that can help improve blood sugar control in individuals with Type 2 diabetes. This micelle technology allows whey protein to be more rapidly available for the body to be taken at a lower dose (10 g, 40 kcal) just 15 minutes before a meal.



Personalized Nutrition Whitepaper:

Finding the right Business Model to overcome the Valley of Death

We recently contributed to this hot off the press white paper on Personalised nutrition. It is a fantastic and free paper.



Food & Consumer Trends



5 ways grocers can harness the food-as-medicine trend

According to the report, food retailers have five main programs they can explore to promote food as medicine: 1) Incentive programs: for example, discounts on fruits and vegetables or digital coupons 2) Path-to-purchase marketing: for example, signage, labels, information on grocers' apps and websites, virtual food demonstrations, and online search options 3) Medically tailored nutrition: for example, medically tailored food or meal programs with a registered dietitian or nutritionist (RDN) 4) Personalized nutrition education: for example, nutrition-focused blogs, diabetes prevention programs or employee wellness programs. 5) Food prescription programs: for example,  health professionals or RDN could prescribe food to patients who have health conditions or face food insecurity.

Keep on reading: Should retailers have a Microbiome zone in-store?


Danone combats biotic myths is US consumers seek immunity benefits

A new consumer survey from Danone reveals that 71% of consumers are increasingly interested in foods and beverages that support gut health, but many are not looking for immunity benefits in all the right places. "(...) many are still unfamiliar with the trillions of microbes and their by-products that live in the digestive tract. In Danone’s survey, only around half (49%) understood the link between the microbiome and digestive health.  Even fewer recognized the impact of the microbiome on overall health, including the immune system (43%), weight management (43%) and mental well-being (33%)." With these results, Danone aims to debunk microbiome myths.


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Upcoming Events



Vitafoods Personalised nutrition roundtable - 6th October

Personalized nutrition & Health (Wageningen) - 7th October

Personalised nutrition innovation summit Newtrition X (Cologne) - 12th October

Sports & active nutrition summit (Nutraigredients) online 12-14 October