Personalized Nutrition and Health (PN&H)
The societal and economic effects of unhealthy diet and lifestyle in the western world are dramatic. Public health campaigns, most of them with a one-size-fits-all approach, have hardly been effective in mitigating the nutrition related non-communicable diseases and its consequences. A new consumer centered paradigm has emerged based on empowered consumers receiving tailored personal dietary advice. This advice takes into account many different individual parameters, such as personal preference, motivational goals, habits, social environment, genotype, phenotype, and broad measures of personal health status.
This PPP program is a joint TNO/Wageningen Research initiative to develop innovative systems that enable consumers to make optimal food choices by providing personalized coaching based on smart and easy do-it-yourself measurements of health and behavior.
The ultimate goal is to enhance the health and wellbeing of society by empowering consumers to choose and maintain an optimal personalized diet & lifestyle. The consortium has a unique approach in that it combines different scientific disciplines and involves a broad selection of private partners spanning the entire value chain of personalised nutrition and health.
The program focuses on developing knowledge and technology (in work packages) as well as on implementing/piloting a number of working prototypes of personalised nutrition concepts (in use cases/business labs/living labs).
This project contributes to the subprogram “Consumer behaviour for healthy and sustainable food choices” (Consumentengedrag voor gezonde en duurzame keuzes) aiming to stimulate “ Voeding op maat” – being one of the priorities formulated within the D2 MMIP.
Each individual is different. People differ not only genetically, physically and mentally but also in terms of their knowledge, habits, preferences and the social environment in which they live. The dietary advice given to one person does not necessarily suit another, because of their health state, personal preferences or culture. Moreover, the tone of voice and timing of the advice are also important to stimulate behaviour change.
Personalised food and health advice helps people to make healthy choices in a way that best suits them; choices that suit what their bodies need as well as their personality and social environment. We believe that personalisation helps people to learn and adopt healthy behaviour patterns. Therefore, personalised nutrition has enormous potential for avoiding and combating weight problems, diabetes and other ‘lifestyle’-related disorders.
The Personalised Nutrition & Health (PNH) consortium will research the technology and knowledge needed to make personalised food and health advice possible on a large scale. This will allow consumers to make a conscious choice on what is healthy for them, while companies can develop new products and services aimed at making our society healthier.
The Personalised Nutrition & Health consortium takes an integrated approach that is unique in the world and involves various disciplines working closely together: from life sciences and behavioural research to data science and sensor technology. It is researching what technologies and knowledge is needed to arrive at tailored, scientifically grounded products and services.
WP1: Measuring food intake & health status
Aim: The aim of WP1 is to create a toolbox of possible measurements to be taken that can be used to gain insight in the personal food & health status of a consumer.
Research questions: Related to measuring health status
a. Which biochemical, physiological, metabolic, genetic and self-reported markers are important to measure a person’s health status in a non-intrusive way?
b. Can these markers be retrieved, and how, from urine, breath, faeces, saliva and dried blood spots?
c. How can these markers be measured or estimated in a user-friendly, non-intrusive way over longer periods of time? Which new methods should be developed? How valid are these DiY (do it yourself) measurements?
Related to measuring food intake
a. What is the accuracy and user-friendliness of novel or simplified methods for food intake and nutrient status assessment as compared to a biomarker of nutrient intake or status or a more classical method (e.g. 24h recall, FFQ, dietary record)? What methods are useful for which study questions?
b. Does the (automatic) incorporation of context variables in food intake assessment methods provide further insights into drivers and barriers of food choice and consumption?
c. How can combinations of measurements of multiple sensors, tools, data sources be combined using data analytics, leading to new accurate insights on food intake status?
Related to citizen science
a. How can N=1 trials be used for obtaining reliable study data for providing suitable personalized advice for a person’s healthy lifestyle; applied in at least one of the projects.
b. How can we link the health measures to food and nutrition?
c. How reliable is the use of do-it-yourself health sensors or food intake methods for obtaining an accurate personal food intake profile and health measurement?
d. How can we select the best measures for a N=1 trial?
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