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Digital Subscriptions > Men's Fitness > September 2019 > ONE SIZE FITS FEW


Photography Shutterstock 1. King’s College London and Massachusetts General Hospital

Preliminary results from an extensive study into individual metabolic responses to food suggest a standardised approach to nutrition is rarely best for everyone.1 The study involved over 1,100 people, including 479 identical twins, who were given meals that were heavy in either sugar or fat in an effort to see how they responded. The results so far contradict the concept of a universal ‘healthy’ diet. Identical twins, who share the same DNA, did not metabolise foods in the same way, the researchers said. In fact, they found no similarities between the way identical twins metabolised meals that were high in fat and only about a 30 per cent association in the way they metabolised sugar. Based on these findings, knowing how a person metabolises sugar will not help explain how they might also metabolise fat. “There is a lot of variability in the ways in which healthy people react to food,” Tim Spector, a professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London and the lead author of the study, told ABC News. As a result, Spector said, “Current nutritional guidelines are unlikely to be helpful for most.”

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