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Personalised nutrition technologies and innovations: a cross-national survey of registered dietitians

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Lynn FrewerORCiD



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by S. Karger AG, 2019.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


Background: Commercial technology-enabled personalised nutrition is undergoing 19 rapid growth, yet uptake in dietetics practice remains low. This survey sought the opinions 20 of dietetics practitioners on personalised nutrition and related technologies to understand 21 facilitators and barriers to its application in practice. 22 Method: A cross-section of Registered Dietitians were recruited in the US, UK, 23 Australia, Canada, Israel, Mexico, Portugal, Spain and South Africa. The questionnaire 24 sought views on risk of genetic technology, ethics of genetic testing, usefulness of new 25 personalised nutrition technologies, entrepreneurism and the perceived importance of 26 new technologies to dietetics. Validated scales were included to assess personality (Big 27 5) and self-efficacy (NGSEI). The survey was available in English, Spanish and 28 Portuguese. Regression analyses were performed to identify factors associated with 29 integration of nutrigenetic testing into practice, and to identify factors associated with the 30 perceived importance of bio, information and mobile technologies to dietetic practice. 31 Results: A total of 323 responses (response rate 19.7%) were analysed. Dietetic 32 practitioners who had integrated personalised nutrition technology into practice perceived 33 technologies to be less risky (P=0.02), biotechnology to be more important (P<0.01), and 34 professional skills to be less important (P=0.04) than those who had not. They were also 35 more likely to see themselves as entrepreneurs (P<0.01) and to perceive lower risks to be 36 associated with technology (P<0.01). Practitioners of nutrigenetics were lower on 37 neuroticism (P<0.01) and higher on self-efficacy (P<0.01), extraversion (P<0.01) and 38 agreeableness (P<0.01). Higher perceived importance of biotechnology to dietetic 39 practice was associated with higher perceived usefulness of omics tests (P<0.01). 40 Perceived importance of information technology was associated with perceived 41 importance of biotechnology (P<0.01). Mobile technologies were perceived as important 42 by dietitians with the highest level of education (P=0.02). 43 Conclusions: For dietitians to practice technology-enabled personalised nutrition, 44 training will be required to enhance self-efficacy, address risk perceived to be associated 45 with new technologies and to instil an entrepreneurial mindset.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Abrahams M, Frewer LJ, Bryant E, Stewart-Knox B

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Public Health Genomics

Year: 2019

Volume: 22

Issue: 3-4

Pages: 119-131

Print publication date: 01/12/2019

Acceptance date: 25/08/2019

Date deposited: 03/10/2019

ISSN (print): 1662-4246

ISSN (electronic): 1662-8063

Publisher: S. Karger AG


DOI: 10.1159/000502915


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