The benefits of a healthy diet may be greatest in those at the highest genetic risk for obesity, according to a study in The BMJ.
Researchers examined weight change among roughly 10,000 U.S. health professionals from 1986 to 2006. Participants completed food-frequency questionnaires every 4 years and had blood samples tested for 77 genetic variants associated with body-mass index.
The researchers found that as diet quality improved over time — as assessed by adherence to diets such as Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) — BMI and body weight decreased. These effects were more pronounced in participants at high genetic risk for obesity than among those at low genetic risk.