FAQ – Nutrition Test and Inactivity
Q. Which genes do you analyse for the Nutrition test?
A. Our Nutrition DNA test panel identifies several SNPs within genes which are associated with the propensity to develop chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, obesity, cholesterol, and hypertension, and associated with caffeine metabolism. Some companies test for more than this, but we aim for quality, not quantity. More does not mean better; we only include genes which have high quality evidence behind them.
Q. Is DnaNudge a diet?
A. DnaNudge is not a diet. We won’t restrict your eating behaviours and you’ll still be able to eat the foods that you enjoy. We will nudge your food choices and shopping behaviours to healthier alternatives tailored to you based on your DNA.
Q. Does DnaNudge take into account my lifestyle?
A. We do consider your lifestyle. Your Active Nudge (DnaBean + DnaBand) will measure your steps and sitting time and will take this into account when making product recommendations and showing your Green DNA Bar on the App.
Q. What does the DnaNudge Nutrition test cover?
A. Our Nutrition test looks at your genetic predispositions for nutrition-related health conditions and relates those predispositions back to different elements of the diet. Specifically, the test covers your predisposition for obesity, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and hypertension. For example, high salt intake is associated with hypertension and high cholesterol, and high sugar intake is associated with obesity and type 2 diabetes. On your DNA Report, the colours of the tiles titled ‘Salt’ and ‘Sugar’ represent your risk of the respective conditions associated with those nutrients.
Q. Do you offer medical, dietetic, or health care advice?
A. No, we do not offer medical, dietetic, or healthcare advice; our service is for information only and is not an alternative to medical advice. You should consult your GP or a health professional before making any changes to your diet or personal care regimen. If you do have a medical condition, we recommend you seek advice from a healthcare professional.
Q. Will I lose weight using the app?
A. It depends. The DnaNudge App and Active Nudge are not designed for weight loss and are not medical devices. Any healthy lifestyle changes you make from using the DnaNudge service may lead to weight loss. However, this is not the main goal of DnaNudge, as weight is not the sole health indicator or predictor of a healthy lifestyle.
Q. Do you recommend caffeine for women during pregnancy?
A. We do not recommend specific intakes of caffeine for pregnant women. If you are pregnant, it is recommended that your caffeine intake follows that of the NHS guidelines of no more than 200mg caffeine per day.
Q. What exactly is the Nutrition DNA Report?
A. Each tile of the DNA Report shows a trait which is based on multiple genes associated with an increased risk of common health conditions such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and hypertension. We link these genes to different nutrients to help offer you better and more personalised dietary recommendations.
Q. What is the DNA Bar?
A. The DNA Bar is not the same as the Green DNA Bar. The DNA Bar is found at the top of the DNA Report tab on the DnaNudge App. This bar represents all the products we have in our database and whether they are recommended for you or not. The green section represents those products which are recommended for you, based on your DNA, and the red section of the bar represents those products which are not recommended. This is determined by your DNA Report and will not change, unless we add more products to our database.
Q. Can I change my DNA and therefore my DNA Report?
A. Your genetics, and therefore your DNA Report, are fixed, as your DNA is unique to you and does not change throughout your life. Your risk of the different nutrition-related health conditions across your report will remain the same (i.e. if you have a high risk for the Sugar trait, this will remain the same). However, by making small changes to your food choices and product purchases, this can make a meaningful difference to your health and overall risk of developing nutrition-related health conditions over time.
Q. If I have red tiles does this mean I will develop a health condition like obesity?
A. Not at all. Our DNA test simply looks at SNPs which are more common amongst people who have certain conditions, such as type 2 diabetes or obesity. Lifestyle factors, such as what you eat, your sleeping patterns and how you choose to exercise, interact with other factors, such as your age and your genes, influencing your health. Simply put, your DNA is part of a whole collection of interacting factors that make you who you are and determine your risk of developing diseases.
Q. Why is my Fat high but Saturated Fat low?
A. We have analysed SNPs which affect many metabolic diseases, including cardiovascular conditions and obesity. We have linked the different nutrients to different conditions. For cardiovascular health, the type of fat is important, meaning that replacing saturated fat with other types of fat (including poly- and mono-unsaturated fats) is important. From this, we have linked saturated fat to these conditions. Another condition we assess is obesity, which is a complex condition, and research has shown that calorie deficiency is important for maintaining a healthy weight. The most economical way to reduce calories is to reduce total fat, as it is the most energy dense macronutrient (more than protein and carbohydrates combined). Therefore, we have linked fat intake to obesity. This means that your tiles for these nutrients can vary as they are linked differently to the health conditions we assess.
Q. My Salt is low so can I eat lots of salty foods?
A. No. If your salt is low, it does not mean you can eat lots of salty foods. The recommended intake for salt for adults in the UK is 6g per day. Currently, studies have shown that we eat far more than that. High intakes of salt have been linked to hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases. A lot of the salt we eat is hidden in processed food. Even though you may have a low or very low salt tile, DnaNudge nudges you towards lower salt options.
Q. My obesity risk is high, but I am skinny; is this correct?
A. DnaNudge is a not a diagnostic tool or medical device. We have assessed areas in your genes which research suggests may lead to obesity. There are several factors, including various lifestyle and dietary factors, which are important for obesity. Eating healthy food and exercising regularly are the best ways to maintain a healthy weight regardless of your genetic pre-dispositions.
Q. My DNA Report is all green; does that mean that I don’t have to worry?
A. Green report tiles do not mean ‘you don’t need to worry’. Our algorithm will still nudge you to make better choices when you scan an item. Making such changes will still have a beneficial impact on your health and risk of developing the nutrition-related health conditions we assess. The DnaNudge App assumes you're thinking about buying or eating the product and gives you a point-of-decision prompt as to whether the item is suited to your DNA or if there are better alternatives for you.
Q. Why does my App have a Nutritional Section instead of a DNA Report?
A. DnaNudge users between 11-15 years old receive an educational report around nutrition rather than a report which communicates health risks to different macronutrients. As a company, we put the interests of our users first, therefore we are not sharing genetic risk information with younger users, as it could potentially have unpredictable effects on their eating behaviours.
Q. What are the differences between an adult and child DNA Report?
A. DnaNudge users between 11 and 15 years old receive an educational nutritional report, as long as a parent or guardian has provided consent. We understand the importance of this developmental stage in an adolescent’s life, so we do not share genetic trait risk information with anyone under the age of 16. Anyone under the age of 16 receives an adapted report. You have full access to all other service features including scanning and searching for products, NudgeMatch and NudgeShare. The DnaNudge App and Active Nudge will take into account your age. As you grow, the recommendations will adjust not only to your genetic risk, but also to the different developmental stages you go through until adulthood. Once you turn 16 years old, your App will automatically display your personal DNA Report results. Other age-related restrictions will also apply until you turn 18 years old. For example, when you scan alcoholic beverages or stimulants like caffeine.
Q. In the DNA Report, what does ‘How do I compare to others?’ mean?
A. By selecting any of the tiles on your DNA Report you can see a percentage value is displayed. This represents the percentage of other users who have taken the test and have a similar result to you for that specific genetic trait, allowing you to see how common your results are compared to those of others.
Q. Why have I been recommended a product that is higher in an ‘X’ ingredient than another product which is not recommended for me?
A. You may find, for example, that you are not recommended a specific product due the sugar or salt content being too high, however a different product with a higher sugar or salt content may be recommended for you. This is because we categorise each of the products in our database by the type of food. For example, we have categories for cereals, nuts, chocolate, condiments and olives, to name just a few of the hundreds of categories we have. We compare products and make recommendations within a single category. We are nudging you towards the healthier products for you within that specific category. This means we will still recommend you products such as chocolate or crisps, but, with the DnaNudge App, you can choose which is the best chocolate bar or packet of nuts for you.
Q. Why did I get a green thumbs-up when I scanned an unhealthy food item?
A. The goal of the DnaNudge App isn’t to restrict certain foods from your diet, so you can use the app to scan all types of foods, including foods which you should only eat occasionally. There is a lot of evidence that shows small changes can add up to having a big impact on your health. This is because our philosophy is based on the idea that we are free to choose what we eat, but we should have the option to be nudged towards an alternative that is healthier for us, whenever possible.
Q. What are the alternative product recommendations and nutritional information?
A. When you view a product in the DnaNudge App, you can see more details about the nutritional information and alternative recommendations for that specific product. In the ‘Alternatives’ tab, a list of alternative recommendations for similar products within the same food category will be displayed. In the 'Nutritional Information' tab, you can see a breakdown of each component of a product which would typically be found on its nutritional label, including fat, sugar, and salt. Next to each component will be a green thumbs-up or a red thumbs-down, indicating which of the components make the product recommended for you or not.
Q. What are the ‘Find a match’ products in the ‘Alternatives’ section?
A. When you scan or search for a product, the DnaNudge App produces a list of similar products from the same category that are recommended for you. The ‘Find a match’ heading indicates the list of products belonging to the same category within our database.
Q. How are my product recommendations generated?
A. Our team of scientists, geneticists, dietitians, and deep-learning software engineers created an algorithm which uses your DNA to create customised product recommendations. The algorithm takes into consideration your genes, the type of product you are scanning, and the nutritional content of food and drink products. Based on these factors, the products are then either recommended for you or not, and alternative product recommendations are generated using our simple, colour-based thumbs-up/thumbs-down system.
Q. My alternative product recommendations seem strange; why is that?
A. When you first start using your DnaNudge App to scan products, the list of alternative product recommendations may contain products which you haven’t heard of before or wouldn’t consider buying. Over time and after a few shopping trips, the App's algorithms will adjust to your preferences and will recommend matches that are closer to what you like.
Q. Why doesn’t the DnaNudge app recommend me baby products?
A. Food and drink products that have been specifically designed for infants will not be recommended, since infants have different nutritional needs to children and adults, and therefore these products tend to be high in calories.
Q. Can the DnaNudge app tell me why products aren’t recommended for me?
A. Yes! When viewing a food or drink product, click on the 'Nutritional Information' section. There will be one or more red thumbs-down displayed next to the components of the product. The red thumbs-down indicates that there is too much of those nutrients within the product for it to be recommended to you, based on your genetic report.
Q. How do I find out about the nutritional information of a product?
A. Scan or search for a product, or click on one from your ‘My Scans’ history to open it. Click 'Nutritional Information' to see the nutritional value of the product.
Q. Why do you display nutritional information per 100g?
A. The nutritional information is based upon 100g/100mL of a product to help both you and our algorithms compare products quickly and easily.
Q. Where do you get information for products and ingredients from?
A. We obtain product ingredients and nutritional information directly from manufacturers, independent packaged food and cosmetic product databases. We cannot guarantee the information is 100% accurate, so if you do spot something unusual, please use the 'Email Support' option to let us know.
DnaNudge is not affiliated with any supermarkets, retailers or brands, and your product recommendations are not influenced by any potential affiliations with third parties.
Q. What is the ‘Ingredients I usually avoid’ function?
A. You can select ingredients that you do not wish to consume, for example, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, gluten, or palm oil. When you scan a product containing an ingredient you have selected as one you wish to avoid, you will be notified should the product contain one or more of the ingredients you would usually avoid. This list can be found as part of the initial DnaBean setup and can also be found in the ‘More’ tab within the app. When you add a new ingredient to this list, you must sync your DnaBean to your DnaNudge App to load it with the most up-to-date information.
We do not recommend individuals suffering from allergies to rely on this feature, given that we cannot guarantee that the product information we receive from manufacturers and other third-party product datasets is 100% accurate.
We recommend that you always check the product label or contact the manufacturer directly, to ensure a product is suitable for you. If you do find any discrepancies, please let us know via the 'Email Support' function within the 'More' section in your App. We recommend that you always check product labels and ingredients to ensure they are suitable for you.
Q. Why has alcohol been selected as an ingredient I want to avoid?
A. Alcohol has been selected as an ingredient you want to avoid because you are under 18 years old. Legally, you are not allowed to buy alcohol. A young person's body cannot cope with alcohol in the same way an adult can. Excessive consumption of alcohol can lead to long term problems with brain function, memory, coordination, and motor skills (ability to move) as well as several chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer. If this does not apply to you, please get in touch with our Customer Services team.
Q. Why has caffeine been selected as an ingredient I want to avoid?
A. Caffeine has been selected as an ingredient to avoid because you are under 18 years old. Caffeine can affect mood, concentration and your development. Although you can still scan products containing caffeine to get a product recommendation based on your genes, we also need to consider your age.