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Dr. Kim Invesitgates the DNA Diet

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Dr. Kim Mulvihill reporting Americans spend billions of dollars on diet products each year and yet we're the fattest nation in the world.

By far, the hottest new diet trend begins with a close look at your D-N-A. While some dieters swear by the so-called D-N-A diet, health experts we spoke to believe it's full of baloney.

In San Francisco’s north beach - the place to chow down - Everyone has the low down on diets. But there's a fat chance any fad diet can keep the weight off.

Now there's a new approach to losing weight. Proponents say just throw away those one size fits all diet books, and get ready for a genetics revolution where your diet is tailor made to your DNA.

Alan Heilpern, MD\DNA Diet Doctor : “Its an extremely new approach.. and most of the medical community is still unaware of its existence.”

It's called the d-n-a diet.

Alan Heilpern, MD\DNA Diet Doctor : “The DNA diet is a way of eating that works for your genes.”

Nutritionist Carolyn Katzin created the DNA diet - - It's a personalized eating plan based on your genetics.

Carolyn Katzin\DNA Diet Creator: “You may look at somebody who 's very skinny and they eat an enormous amount of food//you look at someone else and they have this big fat round body//and they eat a tiny amount of food/so this diet is really helping them understand what is happening to them.”

The test costs six hundred bucks. Here's how it works - you swab the inside of your mouth to Collect DNA and send it off to a lab for analysis. The test looks for certain differences or variations on nineteen genes - - differences that may play a role in heart disease, bone health, inflammation, or even how well your body cleanses itself of toxins. When the report comes back - you undergo a comprehensive exam - and then, get an eating plan tailored to your molecular needs.

Elle Smith\DNA Dieter: “It's like you can't fight your genetics, you can't fight your DNA”

Elle Smith just sent off her DNA off for testing. While this young lady doesn't look like she needs to lose any weight, she doesn't want to take any chances given her family history

Elle Smith\DNA Dieter: “I have three older brothers and two wonderful parents.. and they're all overweight.”

Elle's dad has had three heart attacks and quadruple bypass. She hopes this new diet will help her control her genetics.

Elle Smith\DNA Dieter: “The DNA diet is essentially.. I have no excuses.. if I know something ahead of time, it's my fault.”

But that kind of thinking has some doctors gagging on the diet.

Bertram Lubin, M.D., Children's Hospital Oakland: “Unfortunately there is no data to support any of those things at the present time.”

Dr. Bertram Lubin is director of Childrens Hospital Oakland Research Institute. Here scientists are studying how diets and genetics interact. Lubin says while the concept is sound, thisdiet is premature if not primitive: human DNA contains about twenty-thousand genes. This diet tests for variations on only nineteen.

Bertram Lubin, M.D., Children's Hospital Oakland: “Its a novel thing and its going to attract the attention of a lot of people who can afford to pay the money.. but i think there will be a false sense of security. “

And while proponents claim people lose weight on the diet, thers believe the only weight you'll lose is in your wallet.

Many scientists believe one day we may be able to tailor our diets to fit our D-N-A and reduce illnesses and lose weight.

But at this point, too little is known about our genes to give reliable advice.

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