By Mike Pomranz
Updated November 18, 2014
Credit: © Image Source / Alamy

Today people want everything customized just for them. Beer, fast food and now diet advice. New research shows that people do a better job of following a diet if they get DNA testing to back up the recommendations.

Researchers from the University of Toronto looked at 138 healthy young adults, half of whom were given standard dietary advice while the rest were given advice based on genetic testing. According to Food Navigator, “Those who were informed that they carried a version of a gene linked to salt intake and high blood pressure significantly reduced their sodium intake, in accordance with the recommendation, compared to the group that received the standard advice for sodium intake.”

What makes the findings intriguing is that the one-size-fits-all sodium advice is still considered beneficial regardless of genetic predispositions, but subjects of the study were far more likely to follow the advice if they were given a specific genetic reason to.

Though it’s not shocking that people would be more willing to follow dietary advice tailored to meet their needs, the study serves as a reminder that how that advice is presented strongly influences whether people follow it. Getting people to adhere to diets can be difficult: Providing DNA-based recommendations could reduce that problem. If nothing else, it will at least make patients feel like they’re special.