Fat Genes

Geneticist Tara Matise is thin but a home DNA test showed that she was at risk for obesity.
  • Transcript


Paul Hoffman: Have you had personal genetic testing?

Tara Matise: Coincidentally I’ve participated in a study that was done through the Scripps [Research] Institute in conjunction with Navigenics, one of the companies that has been mentioned here.

I really did it more out of curiosity. Of course I was wondering what might turn up. The way that project works is it’s actually a scientific study, funded I believe by the NIH [National Institutes of Health] to look at the impact of the results of this consumer testing on individuals lifestyles. So they have you fill out detailed questionnaires before and after you do the testing, and they plan to follow up over time asking you things like: What is your diet like? What is you lifestyle like? Do you exercise? Are you a nervous person? How is your sleep habits? And then they’re going to come back and see if those things change after you receive the results of this testing.

Paul Hoffman: So I understand it showed that you were at risk for obesity?

Tara Matise: Obesity was one that came up. I don’t have a strong family history of obesity, I’m not yet showing signs of obesity although it can strike at any time and it could come. But it’s obviously something that everybody wants to watch out for.

I don’t think I learned anything from the test. I didn’t change my lifestyle any after having done the testing. But as a scientist I did find it interesting to get those results.