Characteristics of European adults who dropped out from the Food4Me Internet-based personalised nutrition intervention Academic Article uri icon


  • AbstractObjectiveTo characterise participants who dropped out of the Food4Me Proof-of-Principle study.DesignThe Food4Me study was an Internet-based, 6-month, four-arm, randomised controlled trial. The control group received generalised dietary and lifestyle recommendations, whereas participants randomised to three different levels of personalised nutrition (PN) received advice based on dietary, phenotypic and/or genotypic data, respectively (with either more or less frequent feedback).SettingSeven recruitment sites: UK, Ireland, The Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Poland and Greece.SubjectsAdults aged 18–79 years (n 1607).ResultsA total of 337 (21 %) participants dropped out during the intervention. At baseline, dropouts had higher BMI (0·5 kg/m2; P<0·001). Attrition did not differ significantly between individuals receiving generalised dietary guidelines (Control) and those randomised to PN. Participants were more likely to drop out (OR; 95 % CI) if they received more frequent feedback (1·81; 1·36, 2·41; P<0·001), were female (1·38; 1·06, 1·78; P=0·015), less than 45 years old (2·57; 1·95, 3·39; P<0·001) and obese (2·25; 1·47, 3·43; P<0·001). Attrition was more likely in participants who reported an interest in losing weight (1·53; 1·19, 1·97; P<0·001) or skipping meals (1·75; 1·16, 2·65; P=0·008), and less likely if participants claimed to eat healthily frequently (0·62; 0·45, 0·86; P=0·003).ConclusionsAttrition did not differ between participants receiving generalised or PN advice but more frequent feedback was related to attrition for those randomised to PN interventions. Better strategies are required to minimise dropouts among younger and obese individuals participating in PN interventions and more frequent feedback may be an unnecessary burden.


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

publication date

  • 2017

has subject area