Consumers of the future will be able to overturn the old adage “you are what you eat”, according to a recent report on Reuters Health, because a genetic spin on nutrition will enable food choices to be made according to an individual’s DNA.

In a speech given on Tuesday for the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society, at the Pleasanton, California-based Life Sciences Alliance, nutritional science consultant Dr. Nancy Fogg-Johnson explained:  “The scientific continuums of nutrition and genomics have absolutely merged [and we are entering] a new nutritional paradigm – the genetic era of nutrition.”

In an era dubbed “nutrigenomics”, Fogg-Johnson explained how companies will capitalise on available technology with DNA-tailored drugs, and eventually foods. “The technology to accomplish this in an economically feasible, consumer-relevant way is becoming a reality,” she revealed.

Indeed, she pointed out, consumers regularly make “dietary choices based on genetics”. Such action could include lactose-intolerant people choosing soy over milk.

With the recent publication of the human genome, however, anyone will be able to tailor their intake more specifically to their individual genetic code. With a quick and relatively cheap means of establishing their own unique DNA structure, and any aberrations in genetic make-up, consumers will be armed with important knowledge in the prevention of certain diseases; able to make informed decisions about what they eat to protect themselves from illness.

Fogg-Johnson argued that this process could even become a life-long concern, with children learning from birth which foods to eat for optimum health according to their own genetic make-up.