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  • 1. Ahlgren, Jennie
    et al.
    Görman, Ulf
    Nordström, Karin
    Nordgren, Anders
    Perrudin, Maud
    Ronteltap, Amber
    Savigny, Jean
    van Trijp, Hans
    Consumers on the Internet: ethical and legal aspects of commercialization of personalized nutrition2012In: Genes & Nutrition, ISSN 1555-8932, E-ISSN 1865-3499, no 4, p. 349-355Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 2.
    Ahlgren, Jennie
    et al.
    Ethics Unit, Centre for Theology and Religious Studies, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.
    Nordgren, Anders
    Centre for Applied Ethics, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden.
    Perrudin, Maud
    Keller and Heckman LLP, Brussels, Belgium.
    Ronteltap, Amber
    LEI, Wageningen University and Research Centre, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
    Savigny, Jean
    Keller and Heckman LLP, Brussels, Belgium.
    van Trijp, Hans
    Marketing and Consumer Behaviour, Group Wageningen University and Research .
    Nordström, Karin
    Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, School Based Research, Social Studies and Didactics.
    Görman, Ulf
    Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication.
    Consumers on the Internet: ethical and legal aspects of commercialization of personalized nutrition2013In: Genes & Nutrition, ISSN 1555-8932, E-ISSN 1865-3499, Vol. 8, no 4, p. 349-355Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Consumers often have a positive attitude to the option of receiving personalized nutrition advice based upon genetic testing, since the prospect of enhancing or maintaining one’s health can be perceived as empowering. Current direct-to-consumer services over the Internet, however, suffer from a questionable level of truthfulness and consumer protection, in addition to an imbalance between far-reaching promises and contrasting disclaimers. Psychological and behavioral studies indicate that consumer acceptance of a new technology is primarily explained by the end user’s rational and emotional interpretation as well as moral beliefs. Results from such studies indicate that personalized nutrition must create true value for the consumer. Also, the freedom to choose is crucial for consumer acceptance. From an ethical point of view, consumer protection is crucial, and caution must be exercised when putting nutrigenomic-based tests and advice services on the market. Current Internet offerings appear to reveal a need to further guaranty legal certainty by ensuring privacy, consumer protection and safety. Personalized nutrition services are on the borderline between nutrition and medicine. Current regulation of this area is incomplete and undergoing development. This situation entails the necessity for carefully assessing and developing existing rules that safeguard fundamental rights and data protection while taking into account the sensitivity of data, the risks posed by each step in their processing, and sufficient guarantees for consumers against potential misuse.

  • 3.
    Görman, Ulf
    Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, School Based Research, Social Studies and Didactics.
    Editorial2013In: Genes & Nutrition, ISSN 1555-8932, E-ISSN 1865-3499, Vol. 8, no 4, p. 345-347Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This special section of Genes and Nutrition presents a baseline analysis of ethical and legal issues undertaken within the EU FP7 research project Food4Me, which investigates the feasibility today of the vision for delivering personalized nutrition. Four major topics are addressed: Do we know enough for offering personalized nutritional advice? How can personal, cultural, and scientific perspectives on food and health be integrated? How does personalized nutrition affect individual autonomy? Which urgent ethical and legal matters stand out when personalized nutrition is commercialized?

  • 4.
    Görman, Ulf
    et al.
    Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, School Based Research, Social Studies and Didactics.
    Mathers, John C.
    Human Nutrition Research Centre, Institute for Ageing and Health, NewcastleUniversity, Campus for Ageing and Vitality, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE4 5PL, UK .
    Grimaldi, Keith A.
    Eurogenetica Ltd, 7 Salisbury Road, Burnham-on-Sea, TA8 1HX, UK.
    Ahlgren, Jennie
    Ethics Unit, Centre for Theology and Religious Studies, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.
    Nordström, Karin
    Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, School Based Research, Social Studies and Didactics.
    Do we know enough? A scientific and ethical analysis of the basis for genetic-based personalized nutrition2013In: Genes & Nutrition, ISSN 1555-8932, E-ISSN 1865-3499, Vol. 8, no 4, p. 373-381Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article discusses the prospects and limitations of the scientific basis for offering personalized nutrition advice based upon individual genetic information. Two divergent scientific positions are presented, with an ethical comment. The crucial question is whether the current knowledge base is sufficiently strong for taking an ethically responsible decision to offer personalized nutrition advice based upon gene–diet–health interaction. According to the first position, the evidence base for translating the outcomes of nutrigenomics research into personalized nutritional advice is as yet immature. There is also limited evidence that genotype-based dietary advice will motivate appropriate behavior changes. Filling the gaps in our knowledge will require larger and better randomized controlled trials. According to the second position, personalized nutrition must be evaluated in relation to generally accepted standard dietary advice—partly derived from epidemiological observations and usually not proven by clinical trials. With personalized nutrition, we cannot demand stronger evidence. In several specific cases of gene–diet interaction, it may be more beneficial for individuals with specific genotypes to follow personalized advice rather than general dietary recommendations. The ethical comment, finally, considers the ethical aspects of deciding how to proceed in the face of such uncertainty. Two approaches for an ethically responsible way forward are proposed. Arguing from a precautionary approach, it is suggested that personalized dietary advice should be offered only when there is strong scientific evidence for health effects, followed by stepwise evaluation of unforeseen behavioral and psychological effects. Arguing from theoretical and applied ethics as well as psychology, it is also suggested that personalized advice should avoid paternalism and instead focus on supporting the autonomous choice of each person.

  • 5.
    Nordström, Karin
    et al.
    Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, Disciplinary Research.
    Coff, Chrisitan
    Department of Research and Development, University College Zealand, Sorø, Denmark.
    Jönsson, Håkan
    Department of Arts and Cultural Sciences, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.
    Nordenfelt, Lennart
    Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden.
    Görman, Ulf
    Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication.
    Food and health: individual, cultural, or scientific matters?2013In: Genes & Nutrition, ISSN 1555-8932, E-ISSN 1865-3499, Vol. 8, no 4, p. 357-363Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In personalized nutrition, food is a tool for good health, implying an instrumental relationship between food and health. Food receives a secondary value, while health would appear to be a descriptive biological concept. This article gives an introduction to cultural understandings of food and health. The wider definition of food and health is explored in relation to the commonly used scientific approach that tends to take a more reductionist approach to food and health. The different discourses on food and health are being discussed in relation to ethical aspects of personalized nutrition. The success of personalized nutrition is likely dependent upon the ability to integrate the scientific approach with everyday cultural, emotional, ethical, and sensual understandings of food. Health theories can be divided into two principal rival types—biostatistical and holistic. Biostatistical focuses on survival, while holistic focuses on ability as a precondition for health. Arguments in favor of a holistic and individualistic theory of health and illness are presented. This implies a focus on the ability of the individual to realize his or her “vital goals.” A holistic and individualistic health concept may have a reinforcing effect on the individualized approach in personalized nutrition. It allows focus on individual health premises and related dietary means of health promotion, as well as an individualized perspective on the objectives of health promotion. An individualistic notion of health also indicates that people with high levels of vital goals benefit more easily. To reach beyond these groups is likely difficult. This potential injustice should be balanced with global preventive medical programs.

  • 6.
    Nordström, Karin
    et al.
    Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, Disciplinary Research.
    Juth, Niklas
    Stockholm Centre of Healthcare Ethics, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Kjellström, Sofia
    Jönköping University, School of Health and Welfare, HHJ. ADULT. Jönköping University, School of Health and Welfare, HHJ. Ageing - living conditions and health.
    Meijboom, Franck L.B.
    Department of Philosophy, Ethics Institute, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands.
    Görman, Ulf
    Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication.
    Values at stake: autonomy, responsibility, and trustworthiness in relation to genetic testing and personalized nutrition advice2013In: Genes & Nutrition, ISSN 1555-8932, E-ISSN 1865-3499, Vol. 8, no 4, p. 365-372Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Personalized nutrition has the potential to enhance individual health control. It could be seen as a means to strengthen people’s autonomy as they learn more about their personal health risks, and receive dietary advice accordingly. We examine in what sense personalized nutrition strengthens or weakens individual autonomy. The impact of personalized nutrition on autonomy is analyzed in relation to responsibility and trustworthiness. On a societal level, individualization of health promotion may be accompanied by the attribution of extended individual responsibility for one’s health. This constitutes a dilemma of individualization, caused by a conflict between the right to individual freedom and societal interests. The extent to which personalized nutrition strengthens autonomy is consequently influenced by how responsibility for health is allocated to individuals. Ethically adequate allocation of responsibility should focus on prospective responsibility and be differentiated with regard to individual differences concerning the capacity of adults to take responsibility. The impact of personalized nutrition on autonomy also depends on its methodological design. Owing to the complexity of information received, personalized nutrition through genetic testing (PNTGT) is open to misinterpretation and may not facilitate informed choices and autonomy. As new technologies, personalized nutrition and PNTGT are subject to issues of trust. To strengthen autonomy, trust should be approached in terms of trustworthiness. Trustworthiness implies that an organization that develops or introduces personalized nutrition can show that it is competent to deal with both the technical and moral dimensions at stake and that its decisions are motivated by the interests and expectations of the truster.

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