Claims-making in nutrigenomics: A policy-driven analysis of marketing and media

1 November 2006 - 31 October 2009

Awarded to: Professor  John Dupré

Research partners:

Funding awarded to Exeter £ 79,460

Sponsor(s): The Wellcome Trust

Project webpage(s)

Claims-making in nutrigenomics: A policy-driven analysis of marketing and media

About the project

Principal researcher: Paula Suakko. Affiliated staff: Matt Reed, Steve Hughes, David Melzer and Nicky Britten.

Nutrigenomics — the study of the interactions between nutrition and the genome — promises to give genotype based dietary advice. Companies selling nutrigenetic tests have been accused of misleading the public about the validity of tests. It has been suggested that information provided to the public about nutrigenetic tests should be regulated. This project aimed :

  • To analyse marketing, media and scientific messages about commercial nutrigenetic tests and nutrigenomics more generally in order to assess what exactly what is being claimed about these tests and the science more generally.
  • To explore what cultural symbols around food, genes, medicine, science and lifestyle are associated with nutrigenomics.
  • To examine broader social and political agendas, such as notions of individual responsibility and individuals’ right to “choose” health-care and products they want, that are being supported in discourses on nutrigenomics.