Science

Why weight loss?




We are currently plagued by increasing rates of overweight and obesity, which have increased drastically over the last 30 years. Attesting to this increase, there are more individuals with overweight than underweight. Obesity comes with a broad range of complications and risks for developing other chronic diseases. While obesity can be caused by our genes, our current environment is likely a leading contributor to weight gain. The shift towards driving versus walking or bicycling and the continuous exposure to processed and high-calorie foods, are two primary examples of how our environment heavily contributes to weight gain.


Many different factors contribute to obesity and they include complex interactions between genetics, environment and lifestyle aspects, where environmental factor may have critical contributors in large populations. There is thus a need to integrate different types of information in individuals to understand these potential barriers and find ways to promote successful weight loss outcomes.

Weight loss can be difficult


We know resolving these environmental or societal influences through nutritional and lifestyle approaches are the key to weight loss. However, each person responds to the food they eat a little differently, which ultimately can result in variations in weight loss. To complicate this even further, people frequently regain weight after losing it. In an effort to help individuals optimize their weight loss and limit weight regain, we are trying to understand why and how individuals respond differently to diets and lifestyle changes, and what we can do to help them.


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Variability in weight loss trajectory

Response to a standardized diet is highly variable between subjects and different trajectories are observed
One illustration of why individuals respond variably may come from the gut microbiome. First, we know people with overweight or obesity exhibit differences in their gut microbiome compared to individuals without overweight or obesity. Therapeutic interventions, such as diet or obesity surgery, can also improve the gut microbiota profile of these individuals along with accompanying weight loss. Interestingly, a person’s gut microbiota profile may influence or predict their response to a diet or other weight-loss therapies.

Our way of helping weight loss


At Integrative Phenomics, we believe the best way to understand and help people is through our scientific and medical expertise. We perform real-life longitudinal studies where volunteers provide information on their demographics, lifestyle, and nutritional habits while also providing blood, urine, and stool samples. After performing laboratory analyses on these samples and compiling responses to questionnaires, we use artificial intelligence and machine learning approaches to determine how these variables are correlated, which provides an integrated profile for each of our volunteers. By comparing these integrated profiles, we can target the areas each person could focus on to optimize their weight loss.


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