Skip main navigation

Food4Me European Randomized Controlled Trial

Celis-Morales et al. (2016) explored the effect of persoanlized nutrition on health-related behaviour change as part of Food4Me EU project.
Food4Me Project Badge

Celis-Morales et al. (2016) explored the effect of persoanlized nutrition on health-related behaviour change. This publication will form the basis of this article.

Poor diet and lack of physical acttivity are major risk factors for non-communicable diseases including cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes and many cancers. Most strategies to reduce the burden on non-communicable diseases have used one size fits all public health recommendations. For example, eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day. However, the global burden of non-communicable diseases continue to rise, highlighting the need for more effective prevention.

The sequenclng of the human genome, improved technologies for biomedical analysis and new tools for using large data sets and extracting information of interest, have increased the interest in personal genetics. However, the effectiveness of genetic-based information in facilitating behaviour change is unclear.

In order to understand of DNA-based dietary advice motivates people to make appropriate behavioural changes, the Celis-Morales et al. (2016) carried out a 6-month Food4Me ‘Proof of Principle’ study.

Food4Me Intervention

Food4Me was a four-arm randomized control trial conducted across seven European countries to compare the effects of three levels of Personalised Nutrition with standard population advice on health-related outcomes. The intervention was delivered via the internet ( A total of 1260 participants completed the study.

Following the 6-month intervention, the following results were obtained for participants randomozied to the Personalised Nutrition intervention:

  • Consumed less red meat
  • Consumed less salt
  • Consumed less saturated fat energy
  • Increased folate intake
  • Had a higher Healthy Eating Index score

Overall, the study demonstrated the value of personalization in improving key lifestyle factors relevant to a wide range of health outcomes; and that personalised nutrition advice via internet-delivered intervention can produce larger and more appropriate changes.

The study also concluded, that there was no evidence that including phenotypic and phenotypic plus genetypic information enhanced the effectiveness of the intervention and personalised nutrition advice, compared with personalised nutrition advoce based on evaluation of current dietary intake alone.

What we would like you to do

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below:

If you were looking for personalised nutrition advice, do you think a personalised nurtrition plan based on an evaluation of your current dietary intake alone is suffice? Or would you rather genotype-based interventions?

You can find the full publication and more information on the Food4Me intervention in the See Also section below

This article is from the free online

Revolutionising the Food Chain with Technology

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now