"Health professionals have been using family history of disease to determine their patients' risks for genetic diseases for years. Now, the science is getting to be such that health professionals will be able to recommend specific foods and nutrients for optimal health based on detailed patient profiles," states Hoolihan, research specialist for the Dairy Council of California.
Tailoring food and nutrients to needs seems to make sense, especially in today's world where everything else is customized based on individuals' preferences. The difference is that while one might choose a car, laptop or cell phone according to personal likes, there is more to consuming foods than personal taste. The equation includes multiple factors such as age, gender, lifestyle, metabolic and genetic make-up, activity level and predisposition to disease.
"While the customization trend may sound ideal for those seeking the "perfect" diet, there are key issues that need to be resolved before the trend is embraced by all,' cautions Hoolihan. "Imagine the time it would take for doctors to prescribe very specific diets for each patient."
Instead, the trend is more likely to bring about change in smaller steps. Segmenting the population into smaller groups beyond gender and age will provide one level of customization. For example, a 35-year old man who has a family history of
Contact: Schaelene Rollins
Dairy Council of California