Does personalized advice lead to behaviour change?
In the Headlines
Global Public Perceptions of Genomic Data Sharing: What Shapes the Willingness to Donate DNA and Health Data?
In this recent study conducted by TNO, participants were randomized to 3 groups: Control, Generic nutrition advice, and Personalised nutrition advice (PNA). The PNA group received automatically generated dietary advice based on anthropometry, metabolic health parameters, dietary intake, age and gender, and goal-setting for one or more food categories were also incorporated. The finding demonstrated that the PNA group showed the greatest improvement in nutrition behavior in comparison to generic or no advice, and this improvement was enhanced when goal setting per food category was included.
Increasing dietary fibre intake in healthy adults using personalized dietary advice compared with general advice: a single-blind randomized controlled trial
In this Dutch study, the effect and acceptance of an algorithm-generated personalized dietary advice (PDA) for increasing fiber intake was investigated with general advice (GA)as the control. The findings indicate that the algorithm-generated PDA was well accepted and stimulated adherence to the recommendations more than GA.
"During the lifetime of an individual, it is exposed to challenges such as unhealthy diet, medications, and infections." These events can lead to dysbiosis if the gut microbiome doesn't have the capacity of returning to its baseline. This is called gut resilience. This study is aimed to "review the concept of resilience, what is known about the characteristics of a resilient microbiota, and how to assess microbiota resilience experimentally using a model of high-fat diet challenge in humans." This review discusses "interventions to maintain microbiota resilience that can be guided by the knowledge of microbial species or what functions are perturbed by challenges, and designed to replace diminished species with probiotics, when available, or boost them with prebiotics. Fibers with multiple structures and composition can also be used to increase microbiota diversity, a characteristic of the microbiota that may be associated with resilience".
Get a peek into big data microbiome trends
The Volatile and Heterogenous Gut Microbiota Shifts of COVID-19 Patients Over The Course of A Probiotics-Assisted Therapy
This article aimed to analyze the "16S rRNA gene sequencing and metatranscriptome to investigate the gut microbiome characteristics of a group of COVID-19 patients over the course of a probiotics-assisted therapy". The results showed "COVID-19 patients exhibited apparent microbiota alterations characterized by prominent compositional and functional shifts, which included taxonomic changes (e.g., increased relative abundance of Enterococcus and Rhodococcus, and decreased relative abundance of Faecalibacterium and Clostridium XlVa) and transcriptional changes (e.g., increased transcriptional activities of Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae, virulence factors, and antibiotic resistance genes, and decreased activities of Faecalibacterium prausnitzii)". Individual factors were considered but "coincided with the resolution of respiratory symptoms, after the therapy some patients showed signs of recovery in the gut microbiome abnormalities". In conclusion, the authors reported that: "there is a lack of gut microbiota stability in COVID-19 patients and that measures are needed to ameliorate the gut microbiome perturbations in the patients to improve the prognosis. In addition, the inclusion of probiotics is safe for treating COVID-19 patients and may improve their prognosis".
This Indian study aimed to:
- assess the preference for real-time diet consultation options of hand-held device users;
- understand people’s choices and attitudes towards health care apps;
- understand the present satisfaction level by users of health care apps;
- analyze the data for further research in the field for developing cloud-based diet consultation tools. The results have shown that the first consultation was preferred as face-to-face (one-to-one), whereas follow-up plans were preferred using smartphones owing to convenience. Telephonic consultation scored the least...super interesting!
This Italian study analyzed the accuracy of nutrient intake calculations from the nutrition apps FatSecret, Lifesum, MyFitnessPal, Yazio, and Melarossa (apps that fits on the selection criteria of "more than 4-star ratings, more than 1 million downloads, including a food composition database and in the Italian language"). The apps were used for two weeks each, and using "a 3-day food diary (3-DFD), the nutritional values obtained from each App were compared to a Reference Method (RM) including the Food Composition Database for Epidemiological Studies in Italy (BDA). Energy intake differences were calculated for single nutrient and 3-DFD between single App and RM after food-item matching". The results showed that "the Apps tended to underestimate total energy intake compared to the RM, from a minimum of -2.0 kcal for Lifesum, to a maximum of -5.4 kcal for Yazio (average per item). Apps tended to underestimate lipids, and to a less extent carbohydrate and fiber intake, except for Yazio and Lifesum that overestimated protein intake. These discrepancies seem to be due to the use of no country-specific food composition databases and to user customization of the food list". We can conclude that the most used nutrition apps present critical issues in assessing energy and nutrient intake.
- Between Q1 and Q2 2020, health and fitness app downloads grew by 46% worldwide;
- India saw the highest increase in downloads, rising by 156%, followed by The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region;
- Along with a surge in downloads, fitness apps also saw a rise in daily active users (DAUs). This is significant because it shows people weren’t just downloading these apps and forgetting about them—they were actually using them. DAUs for fitness apps increased by 24% from Q1 to Q2. India had the largest increase of 84%;
- In contrast, the Americas saw the smallest increase of just 8%, but despite the lower growth rate than other regions, those who did adopt fitness apps in the Americas seemed to enjoy them, particularly in the United States. According to a mid-year survey by OnePoll, 74% of Americans used at least one fitness app during quarantine, and 60% enjoyed their home workouts so much, they now plan on canceling their gym membership for good.