FAQ about the Weight Management Test
Q1) Why is genetics important to weight management?
A) Genes play an important role in maintaining a healthy body weight. Studies show that 20 – 70% of weight differences among individuals, and more than 60% of differences during middle age weight gain, are strongly influenced by common genetic differences. Our genetic variations provide us with important differences in how well we digest certain foods, absorb particular nutrients, use those nutrients to operate our bodies, and burn fat during exercise. Some of us have to work harder than others to achieve the same level of benefit. Many of the genetic variations identified to date are associated with chronic diseases that are diet-and-lifestyle related, so it’s important to know which genetic variations we have and how they influence our ability to use food and exercise to support optimal health and weight management.
Q2) How can a genetic test suggest a diet for me?
A) In order to begin aligning our diet and lifestyle choices with our own genetic variations we need to know which variations we have. Certain variations appear to increase the challenge of achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. The purpose of the Weight Management Genetic Test is to determine which of these genetic variations you have and to provide guidance and access to eating and exercising approaches that can help you manage weight successfully.
Q3) Which genes are evaluated in the Weight Management Genetic Test?
A) The Weight Management test assesses five commonly occurring genetic variations to determine an individual’s tendencies in regard to dietary fat absorption, fat metabolism carbohydrate metabolism, and responsiveness to exercise. The five genetic variations occur in the following four genes: FABP2, PPARG, ADRB2 and ADRB3.
Q4) Does Insurance cover my test?
A) The test is performed at a state-of-the-art CLIA certified lab but insurance does not cover the cost of the test. The cost is $169.00 + $10.56 tax. This is reasonable compared to weight management plans with pre-packaged meals or weeks of group meetings. Most insurances do cover the nutrition counseling that is needed to design the eating plan based on your usual diet and the test results. Call our support staff @ (413) 786-2957 with your name, date-of-birth and insurance ID number and we will check on your coverage. Patients without nutrition counseling coverage will be told the self-pay rate.
Q5) What are the possible outcomes of the Weight Management Test?
A) The results of this genetic test place individuals into one of six patterns based on evidence of response to dietary macronutrients and on evidence of response to exercise. These six patterns are:
- Balance of Fat and Carbs and Responsive to Moderate Intensity Exercise
- Responsive to Fat Restriction and Responsive to Moderate Intensity Exercise
- Responsive to Carb Restriction and Responsive to Moderate Intensity Exercise
- Balance of Fat and Carbs and More Responsive to High Intensity Exercise
- Responsive to Fat Restriction and More Responsive to High Intensity Exercise
- Responsive to Carb Restriction and More Responsive to High Intensity Exercise
Q6) Have these guidelines been tested and found to be effective?
A) Yes, the guidelines were developed after careful review of the existing scientific data concerning what constitutes healthy diet and exercise approaches in general, and the influence of specific genetic variations on the role of diet and exercise in successful weight management in particular. Over 100 human and clinical studies were evaluated in which genetic variation, diet or exercise, and weight management associations were included. The results are guidelines that match specific genetic variations with particular diet and exercise recommendations. In addition, a clinical study was conducted with Stanford University to validate the Weight Management Genetic Test. The study showed that more than 2.5 times greater weight loss occurred in people on the appropriate diet versus the inappropriate diet for the genes tested.
Q7) What do I need to do before the test is performed?
A) Do not brush your teeth or eat for two hours before your test. Keep a food record of everything you eat and drink for one week before the test and bring it to your appointment along with a list of your food likes and dislikes.
Q8) What will happen at the appointments when I have the gene test?
A) At the first visit, the dietitian will perform the gene test and a body composition test. The body composition test will tell us how much muscle you have so we can set a reasonable weight goal for you. We do not use height weight charts or BMI charts. We will also calculate how many calories you need each day. In addition, we will look at your current food record and make suggestions that will help you manage your weight for all gene-types. This will be refined when we get your test results.
At your second visit, we will explain your test results and work with you to design an eating and exercise plan that is comfortable for you and matches your genes. There is no food you need totally avoid. All foods can fit into your plan. In follow-up visits we will continue to refine your plan by addressing stress-eating, vacations, cravings, holidays, eating out, recipes and other food and emotion-related topics.
Nancy Dell & Associates Nutrition Counseling,
250 Hampton Street 2nd floor
(In Grove Medical Associates)
Auburn, MA 01501