Researchers of a new study have revealed that so called DNA diets, which are based on genetics, could help fat and obese people effectively lose weight.

Geneticist and study researcher Molly Bray, from the University of Texas at Austin, and colleagues said that these genome-specific diets can help people lose weight even if they were unsuccessful with other diet plans.

"Although a genetic basis for obesity and body composition has been well-established, family and twin studies also provide evidence that a person's genetic makeup plays a role in response to weight loss or gain," the researchers wrote in their report published in the journal Obesity on Dec. 22.

Despite its promise, the DNA diet is not yet readily available as researchers said it may still take five years before such individualized weight management plan can be applied.

A meta-analysis conducted by researchers at John Hopkins University though identified weight loss programs that can actually help people lose more unwanted weight than what they would shed sans a structured plan.

These diet programs were found to be helpful in reducing weight and could be adopted by those looking forward to lose weight this coming 2016 before DNA-based diets become available by 2020.

Of the programs analyzed in more than 4,000 studies, the researchers found that participants on Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers on average lost more weight after a year. They lost at least eight pounds and 15 pounds respectively compared with those who dieted on their own or sought nutrition advice from other sources. Nutrisystem likewise showed promising results.

"Clinicians could consider referring overweight or obese patients to Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig," the researchers wrote in their study, which was published in Annals of Internal Medicine on April 7. "Other popular programs, such as Nutrisystem, show promising weight-loss results; however, additional studies evaluating long-term outcomes are needed."

Jenny Craig Diet

The program comes with prepackaged meals albeit dieters can also intake fresh fruits, vegetables and reduced-fat dairy products once they have reached their desired weight levels. It focuses on low-fat foods that are packed with fiber, protein and water to make a person feels filled up. It also involves physical activity and counseling to help change lifestyle and eating habits.

Weight Watchers

The plan does not involve buying any prepackaged meals and nothing is forbidden but food items are assigned PointsPlus values since participants shed weight by creating calorie deficit. The PointsPlus target is then personalized according to a person's height, weight, gender and age.


Nutrisystem's aim is to simplify weight loss so people don't have to decide which food fits their diet, nor count the calories and carbs they consume. The downside to the program is that participants cannot eat whatever they want to since most food items have to be bought from Nutrisystem.

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