Influence of lifestyle factors on the gut microbiome and its role in obesity development and metabolic disorders during critical stages of life

Obesity is a complex disorder with multiple causes including lifestyle factors such as diet, eating habits and physical activity, all set within a socio-cultural environment, as well as factors including genetics/epigenetics and neural, immune and endocrine functions.

The gut microbiome’s structure and function have also emerged as a novel modifiable factor that can influence the risk of developing metabolic-related diseases and eating behaviour. However, we have a rather limited understanding of the interactions between potential causal factors of these disorders due to the fragmented and compartmentalised research done so far in this field. 

The MyNewGut consortium will conduct tightly controlled epidemiological studies to identify the influence of lifestyle, and other factors, on the gut microbiome and its role in the development of obesity, metabolic and behavioural disorders. Studies will be conducted in populations that represent diverse lifestyles, behaviours and extended periods of life. Therefore, MyNewGut researchers will identify the bacteria that contribute to and predict obesity and metabolic and eating disorders, which can be modified by lifestyle. This knowledge will be integrated into future strategies to effectively reverse the current epidemic of obesity and behavioural disorders.