The Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences SA has signed a three-year collaboration with the University of Tartu Estonian Genome Center. The aim of this collaboration is to better understand the biological mechanisms that are involved in long term weight maintenance.
The worldwide overweight and obesity epidemic is associated with chronic metabolic diseases, such as diabetes, that have become critical healthcare issues in both developed and developing economies. Much of the research focus to date has been on trying to understand the different factors that cause people to gain weight. However, very little is known about why some people are resistant to weight gain.
The purpose of this new collaboration is to discover the molecular characteristics that define resistance to weight gain. This will be done by analysing biological samples and clinical data stored in the Estonian biobank.
The University of Tartu Estonian Genome Centre has one of the world’s largest populationbased biobanks, making it an ideal partner for this research. The biobank currently holds information about nearly 52,000 donors, with medical records and lifestyle data including eating habits.
“Understanding the biological reasons why some people are resistant to weight gain could provide new biological targets for weight management solutions. We are going to look for these targets in collaboration with the University of Tartu Estonian Genome Centre. Our long term goal is to discover targeted nutritional approaches to improve weight management in obese people,” said Dr. Emmanuel Baetge, Head of the Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences.
This project is fully aligned with the mission of the Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences, which is to better define health in order to prevent disease through targeted nutrition. The ultimate goal of the Institute is to develop knowledge that can empower people to better maintain their health through nutritional approaches especially in relation to their molecular and lifestyle status.