Are DNA Diet Plans a Scam?
DNA diet plans claim that individuals finally have the chance to lose weight following a diet that’s tailored to their own unique genetic makeup instead of trying a one-size-fits-all approach. This fantastic idea has taken the spotlight in recent years. As have many prominent companies promoting “DNA based plans” that will help you shed those stubborn pounds.
But do DNA testing kits work? Are they selling snake oil? Would you better off flushing your hard earned money down the toilet instead?
According to researchers at Stanford University, overweight adults who followed a low-fat or low-carbohydrate diet specific to their DNA did not lose any more weight than those people that followed the same two diets, but without the customization for their DNA. The findings were published back in February in The Journal of the American Medical Association(JAMA.)
So are we saying that DNA diet plans are quackery? Not so fast…
The Department of Nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health stated the exact opposite. In their study, obese people followed a DNA based plan. They did it over the course of 2 years. Not only did the participants lose weight, but their overall body composition and fat distribution improved. That means that they lost fat not just water and muscle by following a DNA based plan.
The point here is that anyone can do a Google search and find a study that supports their position. They can find at least one that matches their claim. So how do you know if the DNA diet test that you are considering is legit? Here are four points to consider the scientific research and studies behind any DNA based plan that you might be considering:
You have been lied to. Size DOES matter. This is especially true when it comes to DNA diet testing. No study can cover the entire population affected so they use sampling. The purpose of sampling is to collect, calculate and analyze statistics so that we can make an educated conclusion from the sample and apply it to the entire population. Ultimately, the results need adequately represent the population being studied. A larger sample size reduces the margin of error. When looking for a DNA diet test, be sure that the studies that are used to determine the diet have used a large enough sample size so that mistakes are avoided. If not the sample isn’t truly representative of the population and the results are more likely to be weak at best…
It’s hard to say but easy to understand. Don’t let the statistics scare you off. We’re going to make this super simple for you.
Simply put, when researchers are very sure that the statistics are produced from the study are reliable, a study is said to be statistically significant. It means that the result is not attributed to chance.
For example, suppose we give 1,000 people a simple spelling test, and we want to know if there is a significant difference between male and female scores. The average score for males is 98 and the average score for females is 100 (Go ladies!).
We learn that the difference between 98 and 100 on an IQ test is a very small difference…so small, in fact, that it seems like can’t be significant. Wrong. This small difference is, in fact, significant because there was a large sample size. When you have a large sample size, very small differences will be identified as significant.
Statistical significance doesn’t mean practical significance. Only by looking context – like sample size – can we decide if a difference is practically significant; that is, whether it requires action.
Bottom line, make sure that the studies used in the DNA diet testing service that you are considering use statistics that are meaningful.
This one is easy. Good scientific studies need to be replicable, meaning that a study should produce the same results when repeated exactly.
It is very important that research can be replicated because it means that other researchers can test the findings of the research. Replicability keeps researchers honest and can give readers confidence in research.
The studies used to produce the suggestion in any DNA based diet plan should be able to be easily reproduced by any researcher with the same abilities.
Number of Studies
When researchers study several studies to come to a single conclusion, that conclusion has greater statistical power. It makes sense to use more than a single study to draw a conclusion but there are DNA diet testing companies that only use one study to draw conclusions because it is easier to find one study that supports your position than to find many. When looking for a DNA based diet, be sure that hundreds of studies are used to suggest a diet. If not, it is likely that you will end up disappointed with your results.
It is very exciting to be on the cutting edge of personalized nutrition. In fact, the library of information about the human genome is growing every day and what may not have been able to be determined a few months ago, is now possible. This is why it is so important to look at the scientific studies behind the DNA diet testing company that is being considered. Be sure that these four criteria are met before putting your money where your mouth is.
20DNA uses 7 brilliant members of the scientific community to curate past and new genomic research every day to develop an original proprietary scientific database of over 1000 studies under a stringent triple check process to create our DNA based plans. We leave nothing to chance when making our diet determinations and we make it even easier to stick to your DNA based diet by giving you everything you need to be successful: A hand-curated customizable meal planner, complete with optimized shopping list and step-by-step prep ahead guide to get you ultra-organized so that you get your plan prepped ahead in about an hour. We also make sure that you have the support that you need by offering consultations with a dedicated Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and unlimited email support. Ready to check 20DNA out?