Earlier in 2017, the direct-to-consumer genetic testing company began offering a Genetic Weight report that combined both customers' genetic and lifestyle information to determine whether they were more or less likely to weigh more than average. The company said in a white paper at the time that it used data from 600,000 research participants to uncover 300 SNPs that influence body-mass index and then analyzed how they interact with lifestyle factors.
For 23andMe's new study, Tech Review says the firm wants to enroll 100,000 people to follow one of two diet plans or an exercise plan for three months to see whether those approaches had an effect on their weight. One diet plan will have participants avoid carbohydrates while the other group will eat more fiber, but less animal fat. The exercise group will eat the same as usual, but add workouts into their routines.
"We wanted to see if we could actually do an interventional trial from start to finish and do it remotely from 23andMe," Geoffrey Benton, the head of health research and development at 23andMe tells Tech Review.
Tech Review adds that the firm hopes to generate data to be able to give customers dieting advice.