Relative Influence of Socioeconomic, Psychological and Sensory Characteristics, Physical Activity and Diet on 5-Year Weight Gain in French Adults

Nutrients. 2017 9(11):e1179

Lampuré A, Castetbon K, Hanafi M, Deglaire A, Schlich P, Péneau S, Hercberg S, Méjean C.

Individual characteristics, dietary intake and physical activity influence weight status; however, the contribution of each factor to weight change has not been studied. The objective was to confirm a conceptual framework by simultaneously assessing the relative influence of socioeconomic, psychological and sensory characteristics, physical activity, and dietary intake on five-year weight gain in French adults. Individual characteristics, physical activity, and dietary data were assessed at baseline in 8014 participants in the NutriNet-Santé cohort. Self-reported anthropometric data were collected at baseline and five years later. Structural equation models, stratified by baseline body mass index (BMI), were used to perform analyses. Dietary restraint was a direct predictor of weight gain, with a stronger effect than age or intake of energy-dense foods, both in non-overweight and overweight participants. In non-overweight individuals only, intake of nutrient-dense foods and physical activity were inversely associated with weight gain. Regarding dietary intake, fat liking was the most important predictor of nutrient-dense food intake and was also related to energy-dense food intake. In these models, dietary restraint appears to be a direct predictor of weight gain and fat liking is a strong determinant of dietary intake. The influence of dietary restraint on weight gain, not explained by diet, warrants further investigation.

Dilemma between health and environmental motives when purchasing animal food products: sociodemographic and nutritional characteristics of consumers

BMC Public Health. 2017 17(1):876

Péneau S, Fassier P, Allès B, Kesse-Guyot E, Hercberg S, Méjean C.


Dietary guidelines in France give quantitative recommendations for intake of meat, fish and dairy products whereas consumers are increasingly concerned by the environmental impacts associated with the production of these foods. This potentially leads to consumer dilemmas when purchasing food products. The present study aimed at investigating the sociodemographic profiles of individuals reporting health and environmental dilemmas when purchasing meat, fish and dairy products, and comparing diet quality of individuals with and without dilemma.


A total of 22,936 adult participants in the NutriNet-Santé cohort were included in this cross-sectional analysis. Participants completed a questionnaire assessing motives when purchasing meat, fish and dairy products, including health and environmental determinants. Environmental vs. health dilemmas were assessed using implicit and explicit methods. Sociodemographic data as well as dietary intake using repeated 24 h-records were collected. The association between sociodemographic characteristics and presence of dilemma was assessed using logistic regression models and between dilemma and intake of these products, adherence to food group guidelines, or overall dietary quality, using covariance analysis.


Among participants, 13% were torn between buying meat for health reasons and to avoid buying it for environmental reasons, 12% in the case of fish and 5% in the case of dairy products. Older participants, women and low income individuals were more likely to report dilemmas. Participants reporting dilemmas for meat and dairy products consumed less of these foods (P < 0.05 and P < 0.0001, respectively) and had a better dietary quality overall (both P < 0.0001). In addition, participants with meat dilemma showed a better adherence to meat/fish/eggs guidelines (P < 0.001).


Individuals reporting dilemmas concerning animal products had specific sociodemographic characteristics and showed higher diet quality overall compared with those having no dilemma. Our data suggest that having environmental concerns is not contradictory with adherence to nutritional guidelines.

Eating Patterns in Patients with Compensated Cirrhosis: A Case-Control Study

Nutrients. 2018 10(1):E60

Buscail C, Bourcier V, Fezeu LK, Roulot D, Brulé S, Ben-Abdesselam Z, Cagnot C, Hercberg S, Nahon P, Ganne-Carrié N, Julia C.


There is growing evidence suggesting that maintaining an adequate nutritional status for patients with liver cirrhosis (LC) is relevant to prevent complications. The present study aimed to describe dietary behaviours of patients with compensated and non-complicated LC and comparing them with those of subjects from the general population.


In this case-control study, patients were volunteers enrolled in the ALICIR (ALImentation et CIRrhose) study, an observational survey nested in two French prospective cohorts of patients with biopsy-proven compensated cirrhosis related either to excessive alcohol consumption (CIRRAL) or to hepatitis B or C virus infection (CirVir). Controls were selected from the NutriNet-Santé cohort. Dietary data were collected through a semi quantitative food frequency questionnaire. Dietary and nutritional data were compared using multi-adjusted paired Student's tests.


Between June 2014 and February 2016, 174 patients of CirVir (N = 97) or CIRRAL (N = 77) were matched with 348 controls from the NutriNet-Santé cohort, according to gender, age, BMI and educational level. Compared to controls, patients (mean ± SD) consumed more sodas (236.0 ± 29.8 mL vs. 83.0 ± 33.0 mL) and water (1787.6 ± 80.6 mL vs. 933.6 ± 85.3 mL), and lower amounts of salty snacks (4.2 ± 1.42 g vs. 9.0 ± 1.6 g) and alcoholic beverages (71.8 ± 23.4 g vs. 151.2 ± 25.9 g), with all p values < 0.0001. Dietary behaviours differed according to LC aetiology.


Dietary behaviour of patients significantly differed from subjects from the general population.

Association between time perspective and organic food consumption in a large sample of adults

Nutr J. 2018 17(1):1

Bénard M, Baudry J, Méjean C, Lairon D, Giudici KV, Etilé F, Reach G, Hercberg S2, Kesse-Guyot E, Péneau S.

Organic food intake has risen in many countries during the past decades. Even though motivations associated with such choice have been studied, psychological traits preceding these motivations have rarely been explored. Consideration of future consequences (CFC) represents the extent to which individuals consider future versus immediate consequences of their current behaviors. Consequently, a future oriented personality may be an important characteristic of organic food consumers. The objective was to analyze the association between CFC and organic food consumption in a large sample of the adult general population.


In 2014, a sample of 27,634 participants from the NutriNet-Santé cohort study completed the CFC questionnaire and an Organic-Food Frequency questionnaire. For each food group (17 groups), non-organic food consumers were compared to organic food consumers across quartiles of the CFC using multiple logistic regressions. Moreover, adjusted means of proportions of organic food intakes out of total food intakes were compared between quartiles of the CFC. Analyses were adjusted for socio-demographic, lifestyle and dietary characteristics.


Participants with higher CFC were more likely to consume organic food (OR quartile 4 (Q4) vs. Q1 = 1.88, 95% CI: 1.62, 2.20). Overall, future oriented participants were more likely to consume 14 food groups. The strongest associations were observed for starchy refined foods (OR = 1.78, 95% CI: 1.63, 1.94), and fruits and vegetables (OR = 1.74, 95% CI: 1.58, 1.92). The contribution of organic food intake out of total food intake was 33% higher in the Q4 compared to Q1. More precisely, the contribution of organic food consumed was higher in the Q4 for 16 food groups. The highest relative differences between Q4 and Q1 were observed for starchy refined foods (22%) and non-alcoholic beverages (21%). Seafood was the only food group without a significant difference.


This study provides information on the personality of organic food consumers in a large sample of adult participants. Consideration of future consequences could represent a significant psychological determinant of organic food consumption.

Food consumption and dietary intakes in 36,448 adults and their association with irritable bowel syndrome: Nutrinet-Santé study

Therap Adv Gastroenterol. 2018 11:1756283X17746625

Torres MJ, Sabate JM, Bouchoucha M, Buscail C, Hercberg S, Julia C.


Diet plays an important role for patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The aim of this study was to compare the diets in terms of food consumption and nutrient intake between subjects with IBS and controls in a large French population.


This study included 36,448 subjects from the Nutrinet-Santé cohort study, who completed a questionnaire pertaining to functional bowel disorders based on the Rome III criteria. Dietary data were obtained from at least three self-administered 24 h records via the internet. Association between IBS and diet was evaluated by comparison tests controlled for gender, age and total energy intake (ANCOVA tests).


Subjects included were mainly women (76.9%) and the mean age was 50.2 ± 14.2 years. Among these individuals, 1870 (5.1%) presented with IBS. Compared to healthy controls, they had significantly lower consumption of milk (74.6 versus 88.4 g/day; p < 0.0001), yogurt (108.4 versus 115.5 g/day; p = 0.001), fruits (192.3 versus 203.8 g/day; p < 0.001), and higher soft non-sugared beverages (1167.2 versus 1122.9 ml/day; p < 0.001). They had higher total energy intake (2028.9 versus 1995.7 kcal/day; p < 0.001), with higher intakes of lipids (38.5 versus 38.1% of total energy intake; p = 0.001) and lower intakes of proteins (16.4 versus 16.8% of total energy intake; p < 0.0001), as well as micronutrients (calcium, potassium, zinc and vitamins B2, B5 and B9, all p < 0.0001).


In this large sample, these findings suggest that dietary intake of subjects suffering from IBS differs from that of control subjects. They may have adapted their diet according to symptoms following medical or non-medical recommendations.

Consumption of ultra-processed foods and cancer risk: results from NutriNet-Santé prospective cohort

BMJ. 2018 360:k322

Fiolet T, Srour B, Sellem L, Kesse-Guyot E, Allès B, Méjean C, Deschasaux M, Fassier P, Latino-Martel P, Beslay M, Hercberg S, Lavalette C, Monteiro CA, Julia C, Touvier M.


To assess the prospective associations between consumption of ultra-processed food and risk of cancer.


Population based cohort study.


104 980 participants aged at least 18 years (median age 42.8 years) from the French NutriNet-Santé cohort (2009-17). Dietary intakes were collected using repeated 24 hour dietary records, designed to register participants' usual consumption for 3300 different food items. These were categorised according to their degree of processing by the NOVA classification.


Associations between ultra-processed food intake and risk of overall, breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer assessed by multivariable Cox proportional hazard models adjusted for known risk factors.


Ultra-processed food intake was associated with higher overall cancer risk (n=2228 cases; hazard ratio for a 10% increment in the proportion of ultra-processed food in the diet 1.12 (95% confidence interval 1.06 to 1.18); P for trend<0.001) and breast cancer risk (n=739 cases; hazard ratio 1.11 (1.02 to 1.22); P for trend=0.02). These results remained statistically significant after adjustment for several markers of the nutritional quality of the diet (lipid, sodium, and carbohydrate intakes and/or a Western pattern derived by principal component analysis).


In this large prospective study, a 10% increase in the proportion of ultra-processed foods in the diet was associated with a significant increase of greater than 10% in risks of overall and breast cancer. Further studies are needed to better understand the relative effect of the various dimensions of processing (nutritional composition, food additives, contact materials, and neoformed contaminants) in these associations.

Mindfulness Is Associated with the Metabolic Syndrome among Individuals with a Depressive Symptomatology

Guyot E, Baudry J, Hercberg S, Galan P, Kesse-Guyot E, Péneau S.

The Metabolic Syndrome (MetS) is a major public health burden. Dispositional mindfulness has recently been associated with eating disorders, being overweight, and could therefore be associated with the MetS. We aimed to examine in a cross-sectional design the relationship between mindfulness, the MetS, and its risk factors in a large sample of the adult general population and the influence of depressive symptomatology on this association. Adults participating in the NutriNet-Santé study who had completed the Five Facets Mindfulness Questionnaire and attended a clinical and biological examination were available for inclusion. Multivariable logistic regression models adjusted for socio-demographic and lifestyle factors were performed. A total of 17,490 individuals were included. Among individuals with a depressive symptomatology, those with higher mindfulness were less likely to have a MetS (OR: 0.73, 95% CI: 0.57-0.93), a high waist circumference, a low HDL-cholesterol level and an elevated fasting blood glucose level (all p <0.05). In those without depressive symptomatology, individuals with higher mindfulness were less likely to have a high waist circumference (p <0.01). In conclusion, higher mindfulness was associated with lower odds of developing a MetS only among individuals with a depressive symptomatology.

Environmental Impacts of Plant-Based Diets: How Does Organic Food Consumption Contribute to Environmental Sustainability?

Front Nutr. 2018 5:8

Lacour C, Seconda L, Allès B, Hercberg S, Langevin B, Pointereau P, Lairon D, Baudry J, Kesse-Guyot E.


Studies investigating diet-related environmental impacts have rarely considered the production method of the foods consumed. The objective of the present study, based on the NutriNet-Santé cohort, was to investigate the relationship between a provegetarian score and diet-related environmental impacts. We also evaluated potential effect modifications on the association between a provegetarian score and the environmental impacts of organic food consumption.


Food intake and organic food consumption ratios were obtained from 34,442 French adults using a food frequency questionnaire, which included information on organic food consumption for each group. To characterize the overall structure of the diets, a provegetarian score was used to identify preferences for plant-based products as opposed to animal-based products. Moreover, three environmental indicators were used to assess diet-related environmental impacts: greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, cumulative energy demand (CED), and land occupation. Environmental impacts were assessed using production life cycle assessment (LCA) at the farm level. Associations between provegetarian score quintiles, the level of organic food consumption, and environmental indicators were analyzed using ANCOVAs adjusted for energy, sex, and age.


Participants with diets rich in plant-based foods (fifth quintile) were more likely to be older urban dwellers, to hold a higher degree in education, and to be characterized by an overall healthier lifestyle and diet. A higher provegetarian score was associated with lower environmental impacts (GHG emissionsQ5vsQ1 = 838/1,664 kg CO2eq/year, -49.6%, P < 0.0001; CEDQ5vsQ1 = 4,853/6,775 MJ/year, -26.9%, P < 0.0001; land occupationQ5vsQ1 = 2,420/4,138 m2/year, -41.5%, P < 0.0001). Organic food consumption was also an important modulator of the relationship between provegetarian dietary patterns and environmental impacts but only among participants with diets rich in plant-based products.


Future field studies should endeavor to integrate all the components of a sustainable diet, i.e., both diet composition and production methods.

Socio-economic and demographic factors associated with snacking behavior in a large sample of French adults

Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2018 15(1):25

Si Hassen W, Castetbon K, Péneau S, Tichit C, Nechba A, Lampuré A, Bellisle F, Hercberg S, Méjean C.


Few studies have specifically focused on demographic and socio-economic characteristics associated with snacking in adults, whereas their identification could be useful for defining effective public health measures. The aim of our study was to assess the associations of these factors with daily snacking behavior and its dietary quality.


This cross-sectional study included 84,692 women and 23,491 men from the NutriNet-Santé cohort study. Occurrence of snacking, energy intake from snacks, snack nutrient, and energy densities were assessed using 24-h dietary records of weekdays at baseline. Associations between socio-economic and demographic factors (age, presence of children in the household, education, income, occupation), and snacking behavior were examined using multivariable logistic regression and analysis of covariance, stratified by sex and adjusted for total daily energy intake.


Older individuals were more likely to snack during the day in both sexes while individuals with primary education (OR = 0.79 (0.71;0.87) in women; OR = 0.71 (0.60;0.83) in men), female employees (OR = 0.94 (0.89;0.99), and self-employed women were less likely to snack during the day. Older individuals, in particular middle-aged subjects, had higher snack nutrient density, and lower energy intake and density from snacks compared with younger adults. Presence of a child in the household was associated with higher energy density, lower nutrient density (in women), and lower energy intake from snacks (in men), compared with those who lived without a child in household. In low income individuals and manual workers, snacks had lower nutrient density and higher energy content than in higher socioeconomic categories. At last, energy intake from daily snacking occasions was higher in women with low education level.


Although snacking was less prevalent in low socioeconomic categories and young adults, their snacks had higher energy content and were of poorer nutrient density. Such findings provide useful information on mechanisms of social disparities in dietary behavior.

Saturated, mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acid intake and cancer risk: results from the French prospective cohort NutriNet-Santé

Eur J Nutr. 2018

Sellem L, Srour B, Guéraud F, Pierre F, Kesse-Guyot E, Fiolet T, Lavalette C, Egnell M, Latino-Martel P, Fassier P, Hercberg S, Galan P, Deschasaux M, Touvier M.


Lipid intakes such as saturated (SFA), monounsaturated (MUFA) and polyunsaturated (PUFA) fatty acids have been widely studied regarding cardiovascular health, but their relevance to cancer is unclear. Inconsistent epidemiological results may be explained by varied mechanisms involving PUFAs and redox balance, inflammatory status and cell signalling, along with interactions with other dietary components such as antioxidants, dietary fibre and more generally fruits and vegetable intakes. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the associations between lipid intakes and cancer risk, and their potential modulation by vitamin C, vitamin E, dietary fibre and fruit and vegetable intakes.


This prospective study included 44,039 participants aged ≥ 45 years from the NutriNet-Santé cohort (2009-2017). Dietary data were collected using repeated 24 h-dietary records. Multivariable Cox models were performed to characterize associations.


SFA intake was associated with increased overall [n = 1722 cases, HRQ5vsQ1 = 1.44 (1.10-1.87), p-trend = 0.008] and breast [n = 545 cases, HRQ5vsQ1 = 1.98 (1.24-3.17), p-trend = 0.01] cancer risks. n-6 PUFA [HRQ5vsQ1 = 0.56 (0.32-0.97), p-trend = 0.01] and MUFA (HRQ5vsQ1 = 0.41 [0.18-0.0.95), p-trend = 0.009] intakes were associated with a decreased risk of digestive cancers (n = 190 cases). Associations between n-6 PUFA, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) intakes and digestive cancer risk were modulated by dietary fibre, vitamin C and fruit and vegetable intakes.


These findings suggested that SFA intake could increase overall and breast cancer risks while some unsaturated fatty acids could decrease digestive cancer risk. However, in line with mechanistic hypotheses, our results suggest that intakes of fruits and vegetables and their constituents (antioxidants, fibre) may interact with PUFAs to modulate these associations.