HealthWatch 360 First Nutrition App Aligned with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015

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GB HealthWatch, a San Diego-based digital health and nutritional genomics company, announces the release of a new version of the nutrition scoring system integrated in their popular mobile app, HealthWatch 360. The update positions HealthWatch 360 to be the first nutrition app fully aligned with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015.

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HealthWatch 360 Aligns with the Dietary Guidelines 2015

The HealthWatch 360 mobile app generates a daily nutrition score that helps people create their own healthy diets using their favorite foods while ensuring they meet their nutritional needs.

The HealthWatch 360 mobile app was developed by molecular nutrition scientists and registered dietitians. Unique to other mobile apps in the health and fitness arena, HealthWatch 360 uses a proprietary algorithm to rank a person’s diet quality and nutritional balance using a nutrition score of 1 to 100; the higher the score, the better the diet quality. The GB Nutrition Score guides users to make good food choices and create their own diets using their favorite foods while ensuring they meet their nutritional needs. The updated scoring system incorporates all changes recommended by the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015, released January 7, 2016.

The new Dietary Guidelines contain important changes based on scientific evidence and emphasize healthy eating patterns, calorie control and nutritional balance. Their main objective is to prevent diet-related chronic diseases, namely cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, obesity, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. Instead of targeting specific foods, the recommendations reinforce the concept of combining a wide range of foods to meet nutritional needs. They endorse three healthy dietary patterns – Healthy US-Style Food Patterns, Mediterranean and Vegetarian – and encourage Americans to prioritize their traditional and ethnic foods.

“We developed a dietary quality assessment algorithm that aligns with the USDA 2015 Dietary Guidelines.” said Christina Troutner, MS, RDN, registered dietitian and nutrition scientist at GB HealthWatch. “A person can enter what they ate for the day and the HealthWatch 360 app will generate a nutrition score on a scale from 1-100. A score of 90 or above indicates the food combination is adequate to meet nutritional needs in regards to both macronutrient (carbohydrate, fat and protein) ranges and vitamin and mineral requirements. When tested, the three dietary patterns endorsed by the Dietary Guidelines received nutrition scores over 90, validating the legitimacy of the underlying algorithm. The nutrition scoring system is very powerful and guides people to create personalized, healthy diets using endless food choices.”

There are two major updates included in the new Dietary Guidelines: (1) no restriction on dietary cholesterol and (2) limit added sugars to less than 10% total calories.

Lifting the restriction on dietary cholesterol ends over 20 years of wrongful blame on this nutrient as a major health concern, granting Americans the freedom to eat more cholesterol-rich foods like egg yolks, shellfish and organ meats. This is important, as these foods also happen to be the best sources of choline, retinol and long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (e.g. EPA and AA), essential nutrients that are often insufficient in the American diet. Deficiencies in these nutrients increase risks of developing fatty liver disease, high triglycerides (hypertriglyceridemia), type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

"We were anticipating these changes,” said Mendel Roth, PhD, a molecular nutrition scientist at GB HealthWatch. “From the genetics point of view, about 30-40% of the population have risk variants in their genes that impair their ability to biosynthesize choline, retinol, EPA and/or AA. Eating more cholesterol-rich foods could lower risks of developing metabolic diseases for these people. In contrast, people with impaired cholesterol metabolism, such as those with the APOE4/E4 genotype, must avoid foods high in cholesterol in order to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease."

The new limit on added sugars draws public attention to the harmful effects of sugary drinks. Simple carbohydrates in the diet is one of the driving factors behind high blood glucose levels, hypertriglyceridemia and type 2 diabetes. In addition, people with certain genetic backgrounds are more sensitive to excessive carbohydrates in the diet, especially added sugars.

Scientific evidence strongly suggests that the mismatch between a person’s DNA and their diet is the root cause of many diet-induced chronic diseases. For this reason, foods that are good for one person might not be good for another. We expect that, going forward, as DNA sequencing and precision medicine becomes commonplace, there will be genetic-based dietary guidelines instead of a one-size-fits-all approach. Scientists at GB HealthWatch are developing technologies and tools that will enable precision nutrition and genetic-based preventive healthcare.

GB HealthWatch has formed a partnership with Otogenetics, a CLIA-certified and licensed medical genetic testing company based in Atlanta, Georgia, to develop next-generation sequence-based DNA tests for preventable metabolic diseases. Our goal is to deliver DNA-informed diets as preventative “medicine” to anyone, anywhere through mobile app technology. We are committed to fighting obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases with sound science and the best technologies. We welcome collaboration with academic institutions and healthcare organizations.

About GB HealthWatch
GB HealthWatch is a digital health and nutritional genomics company. We study gene-diet-disease interactions. Our mission is to help prevent common chronic diseases through targeted, gene-based nutritional and dietary intervention. We aim to inform people about the scientific basis of chronic diseases, support them with nutrition management products and services and empower them to take control and live better lives. GB HealthWatch offers the following portals: HealthWatch 360 mobile app for individuals to monitor and improve their diet quality and nutrition; HealthWatch 360 Wellness for organizations; HealthWatch 360 Research Portal for academics and research institutes to study diet and health interactions. Visit our website at to learn more.

About Otogenetics Corporation    
Otogenetics Corporation is a CLIA-certified and licensed medical genetic testing company specializing in using next generation sequencing and other advanced molecular genetic technologies for high quality and targeted genetic testing. The company has developed genetic tests for various genetic and metabolic diseases. In addition, Otogenetics offers high quality next generation sequencing services for genome, exome, and RNA-seq for government and academic institutions, biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, as well as medical doctors and clinics. Additional services and products provided by Otogenetics Corporation can be found at:

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Christina Troutner
GB HealthWatch
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