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Personalised nutrition: the good, the bad and the ugly...

Have you heard of personalised nutrition (PN)
Despite gaining popularity in recent years, PN has been around for at least 40 years. In the past decade, the commercial PN sector has grown due to investor interest and affordable direct-to-consumer (D2C) testing devices. I’m sure you’ve seen PN ads on social media, especially in the past month.

  1. Improved health outcomes: PN tailors your diet to your genes, gut microbiome, lifestyle, and goals, leading to better weight management, reduced risk of chronic diseases, and improved energy levels.
  2. Enhanced motivation and adherence: The Food4Me study found that personalised dietary advice based on eating habits motivated positive changes in diet and lifestyle.
  3. A deeper understanding of your body: PN helps you make informed choices about your eating habits based on your health metrics and food intake.

  1. Accessibility and cost: Personalised nutrition plans, which involve advanced technologies, face-to-face consultations with nutrition specialists, and specialised food subscriptions, can be costly and may not be accessible to everyone.
  2. Data privacy concerns: People submit sensitive health data to PN apps. This could potentially put people’s data at risk of a data breach.
  3. Overreliance on technology: PN technologies provide valuable data. However, people could become overreliant on the apps, replacing the importance of building a healthy relationship with food

  1. Misinformation and hype: the PN landscape is full of misinformation and exaggerated claims. So it’s important that people can distinguish between evidence-based advice and nutrition myths.
  2. Potential for exclusion and bias: PN algorithms may perpetuate biases and inequalities, excluding diverse populations and individuals with specific health conditions.
  3. Ignoring the social and cultural aspects of food: PN should consider the social and cultural aspects of food to avoid promoting restrictive or culturally insensitive dietary recommendations.

The concept of PN has the potential to completely transform our approach to food and overall health. However, it is crucial to approach it with a critical mindset, taking into account both its advantages and limitations. It is important to remember that the most effective diet is one that can be maintained in the long run, brings pleasure, and is tailored to your specific needs and preferences, with the assistance of qualified healthcare experts.

Would you subscribe to a personalised nutrition app?

What would you like it to tell you?