RSS Feed

Related Articles

Related Categories

BBC Two to investigate the latest science behind personalised dieting

31st October 2014 Print
Diet Tribes

Diet Tribes, a brand new series presented by Dr Chris Van Tulleken and clinical psychologist Professor Tanya Byron, will investigate the latest science behind the discovery that the best way to lose weight could be a personalised diet, the secret to which may lie in our genes, our hormones and neuroscience.

In Britain today, two thirds of us are overweight or obese. We spend £10 billion every year trying to slim down. Yet up to 80 per cent of diets fail.

In this 3 x 60’ series for BBC Two from the Science Unit in BBC Scotland, this ground-breaking personalised dieting approach will be put to the test for a national diet experiment. Seventy five overweight people from across the country will be put on a diet tailored to their biological profile and their progress will be followed over three months.

This television study is being overseen by a team of world class scientists and supported by leading academic institutions. From Oxford University, Professor of Diet and Population Susan Jebb and Professor of behavioural medicine Paul Aveyard. From Cambridge University,neuroscientist Prof Paul Fletcher; geneticist Dr Giles Yeo; and gut hormone specialist Prof Fiona Gribble.

Executive Producer Mark Hedgecoe said: “What’s so exciting about this approach to dieting is it can potentially help us lose weight more easily. By knowing why we put on weight, we can help discover which diet should be best for us.”

Professor Susan Jebb says: “This series is trying to understand more about the causes of overeating and to see whether, if we understand more about the causes of obesity, we can use this information to identify a specific diet or boost adherence to a diet to make it easier to lose weight. This will be one of the first efforts to look at the potential value of ‘personalising’ diets to match an individual’s biology and behaviour”

The series will follow the hopeful dieters from the moment they are selected to take part in the study. During a week-long residential diet clinic they will then be the subject of a series of experiments looking at their eating behaviour and why the diets chosen for them are best 

After this process, the dieters will return to their families and normal lives, where the latest findings in nutrition science are examined, and they will be offered tips and take home advice to achieve weight loss success.

Finally, we will look at why so many dieters put weight back on again. Diets are hard because our bodies fight to defend our weight; in evolutionary terms, dieting is bad for us and we protect ourselves against it. Evidence in animals and humans shows that our biology adapts to weight loss by increasing our appetites and reducing our energy expenditure – all in an attempt to regain lost weight. This programme explores the best ways to prevent weight regain.

At the end of the experiment, our expert panel bring the 75 dieters back together to discover how successful the trial has proved.

Viewers will also be able to discover their own ideal diets by using an innovative online diet evaluator which will accompany the series. It will help to indicate to viewers what type of eater they are and suggest which diet may be the right one for them.

More Photos - Click to Enlarge

Diet Tribes