Does Personalized Nutrition Advice Improve Dietary Intake in Healthy Adults? A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials

Adv Nutr. 2021 Jun 1;12(3):657-669. doi: 10.1093/advances/nmaa144.


Personalized nutrition (PN) behavior-change interventions are being used increasingly in attempts to improve dietary intake; however, the impact of PN advice on improvements in dietary intake has not been reviewed systematically. The aim of this systematic review was to evaluate the effect of PN advice on changes in dietary intake compared with generalized advice in healthy adults. Three databases (EMBASE, PubMed, and CINAHL) were searched between 2009 and 2020 for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that tested the effect of PN and tailored advice based on diet, phenotype, or genetic information. The Evidence Analysis Library Quality Criteria checklist was used to conduct a risk-of-bias assessment. Information on intervention design and changes in nutrients, foods, and dietary patterns was extracted from the 11 studies meeting the inclusion criteria. Studies were conducted in the United States, Canada, or Europe; reported outcomes on 57 to 1488 participants; and varied in follow-up duration from 1 to 12 mo. Five studies incorporated behavior-change techniques. The risk of bias for included studies was low. Overall, the available evidence suggests that dietary intake is improved to a greater extent in participants randomly assigned to receive PN advice compared with generalized dietary advice. Additional well-designed PN RCTs are needed that incorporate behavior-change techniques, a broader range of dietary outcomes, and comparisons between personalization based on dietary, biological, and/or lifestyle information.

Keywords: adults; behavior change; diet; dietary patterns; genotype; nutrition; personalized nutrition; phenotype; systematic review.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Canada
  • Diet*
  • Eating*
  • Europe
  • Humans
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic