Together our inborn DNA and our acquired ways to respond to the environment serve to maintain homeostasis and ultimately protect the individual and the species. However, in the present societies in the West, the rich availability of food is unprecedented and people fail to adapt their behaviour accordingly. From an evolutionary (nature) perspective, eating too much at times when food is available was useful, as it helped to get through times of scarcity. At present times when plenty food is available all the time, this behaviour is no longer functional. It nowadays leads to the problem of obesity and related health problems such as diabetes and heart failure.
The behaviour is, however, hard to change: it is considered to be driven by one of the most powerful instincts, sometimes referred to as the survival of the fattest principle.
The digital twin we propose will attend to this problem. The twin takes the genome and individual SNP information with its important biological role as the starting point and aims to build an increasingly accurate and multidimensional model of the associated behaviour, physiology and sensory experiences of individuals in relation to food cues. We anticipate that scientific insights in the relation between genetic variation and particular food preferences helps to understand the molecular mechanisms. This may generate novel foods better tailored to the needs of individuals. In the long run our twin aims to offer insight into ones own behaviour and suggestions to change it towards healthier food choices. As such it may help people who have a tendency to eat too much to change their eating behaviour in a way which is personalized.
|Effective start/end date||1/01/19 → 31/12/19|