Insights into the delivery of personalised nutrition: evidence from face-to-face and web-based dietary interventions
Zenun Franco, Rodrigo
Lovegrove, Julie A
Prevention strategies for non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are a global priority as it has been estimated that NCDs will account for around 73% of worldwide mortality by the year 2020. The adoption of diets that are low in saturated fat, free sugars, and red and processed meats and higher in unsaturated fats, wholegrains, fruit and vegetables have been shown to reduce the risk of NCDs. With increasing internet use, several nutrition interventions are now being conducted online as well as face-to-face, however it is unclear which delivery method is most effective. Although a consumer preference towards face-to-face dietary advice delivery has been identified previously, interest in delivering web-based dietary advice, and in particular personalised nutrition (PN), has been rising, as internet delivery may be less costly and more scalable. This review compares published face-to-face and web-based dietary interventions to give insight into which dietary method might be more effective for PN. In total, 19 peer-reviewed randomised controlled trials were identified for inclusion in the review. The majority of face-to-face nutrition interventions were successful at facilitating dietary change. Results from web-based nutrition interventions suggested that personalised web-based nutrition interventions may be successful at inducing short-term dietary change compared to standardised dietary interventions, however, minimal evidence of long-term impact has been found across both delivery methods. Results of a trial that compared face-to-face with web-based diet intervention found significantly greater dietary changes in the face-to-face group compared to web-based and control groups. Further controlled comparative studies and cost-benefit analysis are needed to assess whether web-based methods can be used in place of face-to-face interventions for achieving dietary change.