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March 22, 2018

Nutrition Gets Personal health

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The year 2016 saw one-size-fits-all eating prescriptions take a back seat to individualized nutrition products. In this new year, we expect that trend to continue, with emerging brands taking personalization further than ever. Take a look at Habit, a company that uses clients' DNA to suggest optimized meals. Founder Neil Grimmer spoke at mbg's annual revitalize event about the need for differentiated approaches to diet, asking "Do we all need the exact same food, at the exact same time, in the same way? Intuitively you'd say 'no.' Some of you were out hiking, some of you were meditating. There are all different sizes, shapes, ages in this room." Habit gathers the results of at-home health kit and analyzes 60 biomarkers to craft optimized meal plans, which a team of chefs then whips up and delivers to your door. Their business plan was convincing enough to earn a $32 million investment from Campbell Soups.

DNAFit takes a similar approach, using genetic insights to recommend tailored nutrition and fitness advice. DayTwo is using clients’ intestinal microbiome to better ascertain their needs. Care/of, a vitamin startup, uses a broad-reaching questionnaire to curate users' selections of supplements. "Our mission is to help folks achieve their goals, and those goals are unique, so our packets are, too," says Care/of CEO Craig Elbert. "We have folks looking for healthier hearts or bones, or improved digestion, greater energy, or lessened stress, and we guide them to make decisions based on their values."

Not convinced you need your own bespoke plan? A study published this August adds scientific cred to the trend. It found that "personalized nutrition advice helped people to make bigger and more appropriate changes to their diets than the conventional healthy eating advice which was followed by our control group." That's enough to make us embrace our individuality.
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