Overweight and obesity are major public health concerns, both in Canada and globally, and are influenced by genetic and environmental factors. Significant progress has been achieved in the identification of genetic determinants of obesity and has highlighted the key role of genetic factors in explaining the heterogeneity of the response to nutritional interventions on various health outcomes. Precision nutrition is an emerging concept in nutrition research aimed at understanding this heterogeneity and developing tailored nutritional interventions based on individuals’ genetic, environmental and lifestyle characteristics. The objective of this symposium is to review recent advances in the genetics of obesity with a focus on better understanding gene-diet relationships in obesity. More specifically, the role of mediation analyses in explaining genetic susceptibility to obesity and the mechanisms by which obesity susceptibility genes can act, for example at the level of adipose tissue, to influence body weight. Globally, the symposium will offer a unique opportunity to discuss the opportunities and challenges offered by precision nutrition in the prevention and treatment of obesity.
Professor Angelo Tremblay obtained his PhD in Physiology in Université Laval, Quebec City, and is currently a professor in the Department of Kinesiology in this university. His investigations are mostly oriented towards the study of factors influencing energy balance in humans with the intent to improve obesity management. Recently, his research has been focused on the study of non-traditional determinants of obesity such as short sleep duration, low calcium/dairy intake, insufficient vitamin intake, suboptimal feeding behaviors, demanding cognitive effort and persistent organic pollutants. Over the last years, he has documented the impact of the pre and probiotics on energy balance and behaviors.