BioClinics launches DNA tests to help obese children

GREATER Manchester testing firm BioClinics has launched a weight loss DNA test aimed at children as well as adults.

The test claims to identify the best type of diet and exercise regime to help people lose weight and keep it off.

It involves taking a mouth swab from which DNA is extracted and examined in a laboratory.

BioClinics, based in Eccles, is headed by husband and wife John and Dr Nichola McChrystal. They hope sales of the test – which costs £195 for adults and £125 for children – will help drive revenues to £600,000 this financial year.

Dr McChrystal, 35, who founded BioClinics in 2005 and is the firm’s scientific director, said the launch brings genetic testing to the mass UK market and could help tackle the nation’s obesity crisis.

BioClinics operates more than 100 testing clinics across Britain and Ireland, saw turnover jump from £180,000 to £400,000 in the 12 months to August after it launched drug and alcohol testing for the workplace. It also provides DNA relationship tests, which include paternity tests.

Dr McChrystal said: “The increasing number of overweight people in the UK prompted me to research and launch this DNA test to help people fight the fat. We are adopting a clinical approach to weight loss in a way which makes it accessible to all. People can lose more weight with a diet that matches their genotype.

“The science proves the test works – it has been validated by a clinical study at Stanford University in the US – but it is up to the individual to put the results into action. The findings can empower individuals with the knowledge of what lifestyle changes to make to lose weight and control their weight for life.”