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Ethical Issues raised by Personalized Nutrition based on Genetic Information

Publiceringsår: 2006
Språk: Engelska
Sidor: 13-22
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Genes & Nutrition
Volym: 1
Nummer: 1
Dokumenttyp: Artikel i tidskrift
Förlag: New Century Health Publishers


Four principles are taken as basis for the ethical analysis: autonomy, nonmaleficence, beneficence, and justice. Health is understood as a limited aspect of wellbeing. Food is understood as an aspect of wellbeing, not only an instrument for health. Modern society is characterized by a tendency to identify wellbeing with external rather than subjective circumstances, to identify wellbeing with health, and to create exaggerated health expectations. Based upon this understanding, aspects of personalized nutrition are discussed: genetic testing, counselling, and fabrication of special dietary products. Today the predictive value of genetic tests for personal nutrition is limited, and experimental at best. Recommendations for the future: Personalized nutrition must be based on solid knowledge. Phenotypic analyses should be used when adequate. When a genetic test can have a clear advantage, this should be preferred. Opportunistic screening should only be used when clearly beneficial. Information concerning genetic tests, and counselling, should be made on a personal basis by specially trained persons. Marketing of genetic tests directly sold to the public should be discouraged. Fabrication of special products for personalized nutrition may be necessary in some cases. However, this may also lead to a medicalization of diet.


  • Ethics
  • health
  • ethics
  • genetic test
  • wellbeing
  • personalized nutrition
  • nutritional genomics


  • ISSN: 1555-8932

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