Genetic Future

Dieting to fit into your genes

Mary Mangan at Open Helix predicts that personal genomics will trigger the appearance of a brand new eating disorder: geneorexia nervosa.

…there will be a proportion of people who take their genetic information
(which I know is of varying utility at best right now to those who have been sequenced ), and they’ll change
their diets.  They’ll upend their and their family’s lifestyles.  They will be
in fear of substances, of foods, of fabrics, of everything-beyond reason.  And
they’ll buy products and services of dubious quality-even potentially dangerous

I do agree that widespread genetic testing will likely serve as a focus for all kinds of social pathologies in a handful of people – but as I said to Mary in a comment:

…if the [crazies] weren’t circling around genetics they’d just be imbibing nonsense about some other facet of science, probably something with the word “quantum” in it.

So this is something to watch out for, but (as Mary acknowledges) not a reason to hold back personal genomics. 

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  1. #1 razib
    April 17, 2009

    personal genomics makes no sense except in light of cognitive psychology 🙂

  2. #2 misha
    April 17, 2009

    I’m now a vegetarian and I went to the gym every day this week. Beyond reason? Maybe…I’m sore as hell and I’d love a juicy steak right about now.

  3. #3 Daniel MacArthur
    April 19, 2009

    There you go, Mary – your first patient.

  4. #4 Mary
    April 19, 2009

    Ah, perfect for The GenoType Diet. A commenter on my blog pointed out that the follow up to the blood type diet is already out and, I swear to got, is called The GenoType Diet. I refuse to link to it. But it’s out there….

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