Add a layer of personalisation to nutritional advice, says expert

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

The one-size-fits-all approach to nutritional advice in the UK should be further tailored to an individual’s dietary needs, according to Professor John Mathers, director of the Human Nutrition Research Centre at Newcastle University.

In this exclusive video interview, filmed at this year’s Institute of Food Science & Technology (IFST) Spring conference, Mathers explained that a layer of personalised nutrition, on top of the generalised approach, was key to improving the public’s health.

“I think, in the future, we can have a more nuanced approach to providing information so that some people might be given a bit more detailed information,”​ he said. “For example, if we knew that they would benefit from more of a particular food or less of a particular food.

‘A layer of personalisation’

“Layered on top of that generic one-size-fits-all approach could be a layer of personalisation, so it’s not either/or, but it’s a combination of both for improving public health.”

Mathers also discussed the role that behavioural genetics, the study of the influence of an organism’s genetic composition on its behaviour, might have in informing people’s diets in a bid to curb obesity in the UK.

Meanwhile, the microbiome and personalised nutrition were key highlights at this year’s Conference last week, held at the University of Birmingham.

Speaking after the conference, IFST president elect and Food and Drink Federation chief scientific officer Helen Munday praised the diversity of the topics at the conference in this exclusive interview,​ while showing a keen focus on nutrition.

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