Genetic predisposition to macronutrient preference and workplace food choices.

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Prior research identified genetic variants influencing macronutrient preference, but whether genetic differences underlying nutrient preference affect long-term food choices is unknown. Here we examined the associations of polygenic scores for carbohydrate, fat, and protein preference with 12 months' workplace food purchases among 397 hospital employees from the ChooseWell 365 study. Food purchases were obtained retrospectively from the hospital's cafeteria sales data for the 12 months before participants were enrolled in the ChooseWell 365 study. Traffic light labels, visible to employees when making purchases, measured the quality of workplace purchases. During the 12-month study period, there were 215,692 cafeteria purchases. Each SD increase in the polygenic score for carbohydrate preference was associated with 2.3 additional purchases/month (95%CI, 0.2 to 4.3; p = 0.03) and a higher number of green-labeled purchases (β = 1.9, 95%CI, 0.5-3.3; p = 0.01). These associations were consistent in subgroup and sensitivity analyses accounting for additional sources of bias. There was no evidence of associations between fat and protein polygenic scores and cafeteria purchases. Findings from this study suggest that genetic differences in carbohydrate preference could influence long-term workplace food purchases and may inform follow-up experiments to enhance our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying food choice behavior.

Mol Psychiatry
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Genetic predisposition to macronutrient preference and workplace food choices.
Merino J, Dashti HS, Levy DE, Del Rocío Sevilla-González M, Hivert MF, Porneala BC, Saxena R, Thorndike AN