Spitting in the wind: beware the DNA fitness test trap

World

Spitting in the wind: beware the DNA fitness test trap

As a medical journal questions the accuracy of genetic fitness and diet kits, we try them out - with mixed results

Charlotte Lytton

If you’re one of the 26 million people who have taken an at-home DNA test, a growing number of which promise to shed never-before-seen light on your health and fitness proclivities, the saliva you sent off in the post might have been for naught.

An article in the British Medical Journal (https://www.bmj.com/content/367/bmj.l5688) last month denounced the reliability of direct-to-consumer (DTC) tests, declaring that they “may produce false positive and false negative results”.

Following the popularity of screening for ancestry and health risks – set to be an industry worth more than R38bn by 2024 – come kits that assess your insides, and produce tailored plans on how best to nurture what nature has given you with achievable nutrition and exercise goals. But are they worth it?..

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