Towards personalised molecular feedback for weight loss

Shilpa Tejpal, Narinder Sanghera, Vijayalaxmi Manoharan, Joan Planas-Iglesias, Kate Myler, Judith Klein-Seetharaman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Numerous diets, apps and websites help guide and monitor dietary behaviour with the goal of losing weight, yet dieting success is highly dependent on personal preferences and circumstances. To enable a more quantitative approach to dieting, we developed an integrated platform that allows tracking of life-style information alongside molecular biofeedback measurements (lactate and insulin). Methods: To facilitate weight loss, participants (≥18 years) omitted one main meal from the usual three-meal routine. Daily caloric intake was restricted to ~1200KCal with one optional snack ≤250KCal. A mobile health platform ( was developed and used to maintain diaries of food intake, weight, urine collection and volume. A survey was conducted to understand participants' willingness to collect samples, motivation for taking part in the study and reasons for dropout. Results: Meal skipping resulted in weight loss after a 24 h period in contrast to 3-meal control days regardless of the meal that was skipped, breakfast, lunch or dinner (p < 0.001). Common reasons for engagement were interest in losing weight and personal metabolic profile. Total insulin and lactate values varied significantly between healthy and obese individuals at p = 0.01 and 0.05 respectively. Conclusion: In a proof of concept study with a meal-skipping diet, we show that insulin and lactate values in urine correlate with weight loss, making these molecules potential candidates for quantitative feedback on food intake behaviour to people dieting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number20
JournalBMC Obesity
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 6 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • App development
  • Biomarkers
  • Insulin
  • Lactate
  • Obesity
  • Weight loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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