business news in context, analysis with attitude

The Boston Globe reports on how the "classic one-size-fits-all approach" to dieting and weight control has not done consumers any favors, setting as it has unreasonable expectations within unreasonable timeframes.

Furthermore, because of conflicting advice, people simply don't know what to eat anymore - and once they make that decision genes and biology team up to make sure that different people process food differently.

"With all of these areas where we had a dogma that this or that was good for everybody, we're now realizing that individual differences in our genetic makeup make that untrue," Dr. Bertram Lubin, a specialist in studying such variability and president of Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute in California, tells the NYT. "You and I might eat the same thing at dinner, but that diet for me could increase susceptibility to heart disease while for you, it might even prevent heart disease."

This conflict in how people interact with their food, and how to cope with it, is called nutrigenetics, and attempts to explore "the exquisitely complex relationship between the food we eat and the most basic building blocks of life, our genes."

If this science proceeds as some hope, the Globe reports, "the resulting knowledge could spawn a revolutionary way of viewing food -- not just as sustenance, but as a pharmaceutical capable of reversing disease and stalling the rigors of aging."
KC's View:
We know that studies like these are good and necessary - but they just seem so destined to take all the fun out of eating and drinking.

And we like that kind of fun too much to be worried about food as medicinal.