National Jewish Health to Study Genetically Guided Weight Loss
MAY 29, 2013
Innovative BodySync genetic markers to be studied
National Jewish Health has brought a proven disease-management approach to one of America's most pressing health problems, obesity. In a move that continues the program’s thought leading work and focuses on developing new tools to further enhance its weight-management program, FitLogix®, National Jewish Health recently signed an agreement with BodySync Personal Genetics to evaluate the potential role of genetics in weight management.
“The FitLogix program creates permanent change and sustainable weight management for participants using strategies in exercise and eating behavior modification,” said Robin Daigh, president of the Health Initiatives group at National Jewish Health, which provides evidence-based programs for smoking cessation and weight management. “The obesity epidemic demands management with sound, proven practices.”
The year-long FitLogix program offers customized personal coaching, Internet education and support, and wireless activity monitors and scales to help people manage their weight. National Jewish Health began offering this program to corporate clients in 2008.
Two-thirds of people enrolled in FitLogix lose weight and keep it off 12 months after beginning the program. Of those who lose weight, the average weight loss is 5 percent of body weight. Research shows that a 5 percent loss in weight results in clinically significant drops in cholesterol and blood pressure. The longer clients participate in the program, the more weight they lose.
Not only do participants lose weight, they also reduce their health care costs. For one FitLogix corporate client, total health care costs dropped almost 14 percent from $28.8 million in the year before participating in FitLogix to $25.0 million in the year its employees participated in FitLogix.
Looking to improve the results of the FitLogix program National Jewish Health will now study the role of genetics in weight management as part of its overall focus on advancing preventive and personalized medicine.
The new program will use genetic markers from BodySync Personal Genetics to explore whether a customized nutrition and exercise plan based on an individual genetic profile can produce weight loss results that are superior to those currently achieved by FitLogix participants.
BodySync develops DNA assessments targeting gene/nutrient and gene/fitness connections, backed by clinical research. By analyzing a number of genes, BodySync DNA™ Nutrition and Fitness Assessments focus on genetic variations that have been most associated with an individual’s ability to metabolize specific nutrients and benefit from certain types of exercise.
"The scientists at National Jewish Health and BodySync have worked diligently to bring this groundbreaking research effort into focus. We believe BodySync's CLIA-certified genetic nutrition and fitness assessment technologies are a perfect complement to the National Jewish Health evidence-based FitLogix weight management program,” said Vince Pavelock, CEO, BodySync. “By combining our two independently proven technologies, we aim to increase the effectiveness of employee nutrition and fitness programs – and decrease weight management-related corporate health care costs more scientifically."
“There are so many different factors related to weight management,” said David Tinkelman, MD, medical director for Health Initiatives at National Jewish Health. “BodySync has a portfolio of genes with correlations to metabolic function. Our collaboration will allow us to explore whether understanding these different genetic profiles can help us better tailor our weight management interventions. Ultimately, we want to know ‘If you know your gene pattern, can you make a difference in your life using a genetically guided nutrition and fitness plan?’”
National Jewish Health is known worldwide for treatment of patients with respiratory, cardiac, immune and related disorders, and for groundbreaking medical research. Founded in 1899 as a nonprofit hospital, National Jewish Health remains the only facility in the world dedicated exclusively to these disorders. Since 1998, U.S. News & World Report has ranked National Jewish Health the number one respiratory hospital in the nation.
BodySync is a leading personal genetics company operating a wholly-owned, Colorado-based, CLIA-certified genetic testing lab providing DNA Nutrition and Fitness™ Assessments to individuals through select business partners. BodySync is committed to empowering individuals with actionable personal genetic information needed to make more-informed nutrition and fitness decisions. The Company’s multi-patented approach to personalized wellness incorporates advanced genotyping and lifestyle analyses of genetic variations which research has shown to impact an individual’s ability to benefit from certain nutrients and exercise. BodySync also owns a California-based IP product development lab, which formulates genetically-guided nutrition, fitness and online aftermarket products and services based on its genetic assessments.