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Looking back at the original study's results, researchers saw that women whose diets matched their genetic makeup lost more than 13 pounds over a year compared to less than 3 pounds for women on mismatched diets, Nelson reported at a heart association conference this week.
Some scientists were unpersuaded. Sticking with a diet is more important than what diet you choose, as is not regaining weight, Eckel said.
"I have serious reservations with this study and studies like it," Rodriguez agreed. "The idea that genetic variants in these genes can predict the likelihood for weight loss in such a small population, particularly since the tendency for weight loss is probably more behavioral than genetic, is simply hard to believe."
However, one of the study participants, Jacqueline Gardner, 55, of Evergreen, Calif., does believe. She went from 200 pounds at the start of the study to 185, but was back to 200 pounds two years later.
"I now know why I gained it back," she said -- the gene test showed she does not metabolize carbohydrates well. More recently, she has been on a high-protein diet and weighs 180.
"I wish I had had a DNA test 10 years ago," she said.
The researchers also tested themselves.
"It confirmed my suspicion," Nelson said of her result. "When I eat a lot of carbohydrates, I tend to put on weight."
Do we really need a gene test to tell us that?
On the Net:
UC Davis nutrigenomics center:
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