Published online Mar 28, 2015. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v21.i12.3449
Peer-review started: November 28, 2014
First decision: January 8, 2015
Revised: January 21, 2015
Accepted: February 12, 2015
Article in press: February 13, 2015
Published online: March 28, 2015
Obesity and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis are increasing in westernized countries, regardless of their geographic location. In Latin America, most countries, including Mexico, have a heterogeneous admixture genome with Amerindian, European and African ancestries. However, certain high allelic frequencies of several nutrient-related polymorphisms may have been achieved by past gene-nutrient interactions. Such interactions may have promoted the positive selection of variants adapted to regional food sources. At present, the unbalanced diet composition of the Mexicans has led the country to a 70% prevalence rate of overweightness and obesity due to substantial changes in food habits, among other factors. International guidelines and intervention strategies may not be adequate for all populations worldwide because they do not consider disparities in genetic and environmental factors, and thus there is a need for differential prevention and management strategies. Here, we provide the rationale for an intervention strategy for the prevention and management of obesity-related diseases such as non-alcoholic steatohepatitis based on a regionalized genome-based diet. The components required to design such a diet should focus on the specific ancestry of each population around the world and the convenience of consuming traditional ethnic food.
Core tip: New intervention strategies for the prevention and management of obesity and associated gastrointestinal diseases are warranted due to their chronic complications. In the era of genomic medicine and nutritional genomics, we are now closer to understanding how unbalanced gene-nutrient interactions are involved in the onset and progression of these diseases. The implementation of regionalized diets based on the genetic ancestry and natural staple food sources of each population may result in better health and nutrition worldwide. Further studies are required to tailor the appropriate diet for each type of population to win the battle against obesity and associated co-morbidities.