Profile of European adults interested in internet-based personalised nutrition: the Food4Me study

Katherine M. Livingstone, Carlos Celis-Morales, Santiago Navas-Carretero, Rodrigo San-Cristobal, Clare B. O’Donovan, Hannah Forster, Clara Woolhead, Cyril F.M. Marsaux, Anna L. Macready, Rosalind Fallaize, Silvia Kolossa, Lydia Tsirigoti, Christina P. Lambrinou, George Moschonis, Magdalena Godlewska, Agnieszka Surwiłło, Christian A. Drevon, Yannis Manios, Iwona Traczyk, Eileen R. GibneyLorraine Brennan, Marianne C. Walsh, Julie A. Lovegrove, J. Alfredo Martinez, Wim H. Saris, Hannelore Daniel, Mike Gibney, John C. Mathers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Personalised interventions may have greater potential for reducing the global burden of non-communicable diseases and for promoting better health and well-being across the lifespan than the conventional “one size fits all” approach. However, the characteristics of individuals interested in personalised nutrition (PN) are unclear. Therefore, the aim of this study was to describe the characteristics of European adults interested in taking part in an internet-based PN study. Methods: Individuals from seven European countries (UK, Ireland, Germany, The Netherlands, Spain, Greece and Poland) were invited to participate in the study via the Food4Me website ( Two screening questionnaires were used to collect data on socio-demographic, anthropometric and health-related characteristics as well as dietary intakes. Results: A total of 5662 individuals expressed an interest in the study (mean age 40 ± 12.7; range 15–87 years). Of these, 65 % were female and 97 % were Caucasian. Overall, 13 % were smokers and 47 % reported the presence of a clinically diagnosed disease. Furthermore, 47 % were overweight or obese and 35 % were sedentary during leisure time. Assessment of dietary intakes showed that 54 % of individuals reported consuming at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables per day, 46 % consumed more than 3 servings of wholegrains and 37 % limited their salt intake to <5.75 g per day. Conclusions: Our data indicate that individuals volunteering to participate in an internet-based PN study are broadly representative of the European adult population, most of whom had adequate nutrient intakes but could benefit from improved dietary choices and greater physical activity. Future use of internet-based PN approaches is thus relevant to a wide target audience.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)759-769
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Nutrition
Issue number2
Early online date17 Apr 2015
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2016


  • European profile
  • Internet-based
  • Personalised nutrition
  • Randomised controlled trial
  • Tailored intervention


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