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FirstHealth Offering Genetic Testing for Diet, Nutrition and Exercise

| Date Posted: 1/21/2014

PINEHURST – The FirstHealth Diabetes and Nutrition Education Center is offering a genetic code test that focuses on nutritional codes related to diet, nutrition and exercise.

“The test is offered as a service as part of our diabetes and nutrition education department,” says registered dietitian Melissa Herman of the FirstHealth Diabetes and Nutrition Education Center.

The test provides information on an individual’s response to exercise and diet. For example, is one type of exercise more beneficial to the individual than another? Or, are certain eating behaviors healthier for an individual?

“Patients may also find that they have ‘snacking behaviors,’ hunger genes or even ‘eating disinhibition’ genes – meaning they are likely to graze on certain foods or be more susceptible to hunger or eat even when full,” Herman says.

The test begins with an initial meeting with one of the FirstHealth educators, followed by a simple saliva test. After the results are ready, the educators provide additional counseling and support to patients.

In the end, patients are provided with recommended diets along with guidelines on serving sizes, food limitations and meal plan ideas. Patients are also provided with exercise plans.

When shared during a consultation with a physician or dietitian, the information from the genetics test can be used to produce meaningful lifestyle changes.

Three FirstHealth employees have participated in the testing process as part of an Employee Wellness Challenge. Since receiving the results of the test, all three have been successful with weight-loss and changing their lifestyles.

The FirstHealth Diabetes and Nutrition Education Center is currently the only registered diabetes center in the Sandhills region offering this service.

For more information on the Genetics Test for Diet, Nutrition and Exercise offered through the FirstHealth Diabetes and Nutrition Education Center, call (800) 364-0499 or visit

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