Characteristics of participants who benefit most from personalised nutrition: findings from the pan-European Food4Me randomised controlled trial

Katherine M. Livingstone, Carlos Celis-Morales, Santiago Navas-Carretero, Rodrigo San-Cristobal, Hannah Forster, Clara Woolhead, Clare B. O'Donovan, George Moschonis, Yannis Manios, Iwona Traczyk, Thomas E. Gundersen, Christian A. Drevon, Cyril F. M. Marsaux, Rosalind Fallaize, Anna L. Macready, Hannelore Daniel, Wim H. M. Saris, Julie A. Lovegrove, Mike Gibney, Eileen R. GibneyMarianne Walsh, Lorraine Brennan, J. A. Martinez, John C. Mathers*, Food4Me Study

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Little is known about who would benefit from Internet-based personalised nutrition (PN) interventions. This study aimed to evaluate the characteristics of participants who achieved greatest improvements (i.e. benefit) in diet, adiposity and biomarkers following an Internet-based PN intervention. Adults (n 1607) from seven European countries were recruited into a 6-month, randomised controlled trial (Food4Me) and randomised to receive conventional dietary advice (control) or PN advice. Information on dietary intake, adiposity, physical activity (PA), blood biomarkers and participant characteristics was collected at baseline and month 6. Benefit from the intervention was defined as >= 5 % change in the primary outcome (Healthy Eating Index) and secondary outcomes (waist circumference and BMI, PA, sedentary time and plasma concentrations of cholesterol, carotenoids and omega-3 index) at month 6. For our primary outcome, benefit from the intervention was greater in older participants, women and participants with lower HEI scores at baseline. Benefit was greater for individuals reporting greater self-efficacy for 'sticking to healthful foods' and who 'felt weird if [they] didn't eat healthily'. Participants benefited more if they reported wanting to improve their health and well-being. The characteristics of individuals benefiting did not differ by other demographic, health-related, anthropometric or genotypic characteristics. Findings were similar for secondary outcomes. These findings have implications for the design of more effective future PN intervention studies and for tailored nutritional advice in public health and clinical settings.

Original languageEnglish
Article number0007114520000653
Pages (from-to)1396-1405
Number of pages10
JournalBritish Journal of Nutrition
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jun 2020


  • Food4Me
  • Personalised nutrition
  • Internet-based interventions
  • European
  • Adults

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