Major Change in Body Weight over 5 Years and Total Sleep Time: Investigation of Effect Modification by Sex and Obesity in a Large e-Cohort

Int J Behav Med. 2017

Andreeva VA, Torres MJ, Léger D, Bayon V, Gonzalez P, de Edelenyi FS, Hercberg S, Galan P.


We assessed the association of long-term weight change ≥5 kg with total sleep time (TST), investigating effect modification by sex and overweight/obesity.


In a cross-sectional context, we studied 41,610 adults from the general population-based NutriNet-Santé e-cohort. A sleep questionnaire was self-administered in 2014. It included sleep logs for the estimation of average TST at night, and items for the calculation of major weight change as experienced over the previous 5 years. We fit multivariate polytomous logistic regression models.


Overall, women with major weight loss had an increased likelihood of short TST (≤6 h) when compared with women with stable weight (OR = 1.15, 95% CI: 1.05-1.25). Individuals with major weight gain had an increased likelihood of short TST compared with their counterparts with stable weight (men: OR = 1.20, 95% CI: 1.05-1.37; women: OR = 1.24, 95% CI: 1.15-1.33). Men with major weight gain were less likely to report long TST compared with men with stable weight (OR = 0.83, 95% CI: 0.70-0.97). Overweight or obesity did not moderate the associations.


The study advances knowledge in the fields of public health and nutrition by providing some evidence of a sex-specific association of major weight change with both short and long TST. These associations merit future investigation in a longitudinal context with repeated, objective measures of both weight and sleep time, while applying more stringent interaction test criteria and accounting for changes in health behaviors.

Meal planning is associated with food variety, diet quality and body weight status in a large sample of French adults.

Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2017 14(1):12

Ducrot P, Méjean C, Aroumougame V, Ibanez G, Allès B, Kesse-Guyot E, Hercberg S, Péneau S.


Meal planning could be a potential tool to offset time scarcity and therefore encourage home meal preparation, which has been linked with an improved diet quality. However, to date, meal planning has received little attention in the scientific literature. The aim of our cross-sectional study was to investigate the association between meal planning and diet quality, including adherence to nutritional guidelines and food variety, as well as weight status.


Meal planning, i.e. planning ahead the foods that will be eaten for the next few days, was assessed in 40,554 participants of the web-based observational NutriNet-Santé study. Dietary measurements included intakes of energy, nutrients, food groups, and adherence to the French nutritional guidelines (mPNNS-GS) estimated through repeated 24-h dietary records. A food variety score was also calculated using Food Frequency Questionnaire. Weight and height were self-reported. Association between meal planning and dietary intakes were assessed using ANCOVAs, while associations with quartiles of mPNNS-GS scores, quartiles of food variety score and weight status categories (overweight, obesity) were evaluated using logistic regression models.


A total of 57% of the participants declared to plan meals at least occasionally. Meal planners were more likely to have a higher mPNNS-GS (OR quartile 4 vs. 1 = 1.13, 95% CI: [1.07-1.20]), higher overall food variety (OR quartile 4 vs. 1 = 1.25, 95% CI: [1.18-1.32]). In women, meal planning was associated with lower odds of being overweight (OR = 0.92 [0.87-0.98]) and obese (OR = 0.79 [0.73-0.86]). In men, the association was significant for obesity only (OR = 0.81 [0.69-0.94]).


Meal planning was associated with a healthier diet and less obesity. Although no causality can be inferred from the reported associations, these data suggest that meal planning could potentially be relevant for obesity prevention.

Liking for fat is associated with sociodemographic, psychological, lifestyle and health characteristics.

Br J Nutr. 2014 112(8):1353-63

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

Sensory liking influences dietary behaviour, but little is known about specifically associated individual profiles. The aim of the present study was to investigate the associations between liking for fat-and-salt and fat-and-sweet sensations and sociodemographic, economic, psychological, lifestyle and health characteristics in a large sample. Individual characteristics and liking scores were collected by a questionnaire among 37,181 French adults. Liking scores were constructed using a validated preference questionnaire. Multinomial logistic regression models were used to assess the associations between liking levels and individual characteristics. In both sexes, subjects belonging to low-level occupational categories (OR 1·39, 95% CI 1·16, 1·67 in men; OR 1·28, 95% CI 1·16, 1·41 in women), highly uncontrolled eaters (men: OR 2·90, 95% CI 2·60, 3·23; women: OR 2·73, 95% CI 2·27, 3·30) and obese subjects (men: OR 1·45, 95% CI 1·14, 1·84; women: OR 1·47, 95% CI 1·29, 1·68) were more likely to have a strong liking for the fat-and-sweet sensation, whereas older individuals (men: OR 0·13, 95% CI 0·10, 0·16; women: OR 0·11, 95% CI 0·09, 0·14) and highly cognitive restrainers (men: OR 0·52, 95% CI 0·44, 0·63; women: OR 0·60, 95% CI 0·55, 0·66) were less likely to have a strong liking. Regarding liking for the fat-and-salt sensation, the same associations were found and specific relationships were also highlighted: current smokers and heavy drinkers were more likely to strongly prefer the fat-and-salt sensation compared with non-smokers and abstainers or irregular alcohol consumers. The relationship between individual characteristics and a liking for fat sensation provides new and original information that may be useful for a better understanding of the associations between sensory liking and individual behaviour.

Demographic, socioeconomic, disease history, dietary and lifestyle cancer risk factors associated with alcohol consumption.

Int J Cancer. 2014 134(2):445-59

Touvier M, Druesne-Pecollo N, Kesse-Guyot E, Andreeva VA, Galan P, Hercberg S, Latino-Martel P.

Data are lacking regarding the association of alcohol consumption with a broad range of other cancer risk factors. Objectives: (i) to assess which sociodemographic, lifestyle and dietary factors were associated with alcohol consumption; (ii) to identify profiles of alcohol consumers by beverage type; (iii) to estimate the number of cancer risk factors accumulated on the individual level according to alcohol consumption. Alcohol and dietary intakes were assessed by six 24 hr records among 29,566 adults of the NutriNet-Santé cohort. Factors associated with alcohol consumption (nondrinkers (reference)/< 10 g/day/≥ 10 g/day) were assessed by polytomic multivariate logistic regression stratified by gender. Among alcohol consumers, percentages of alcohol brought by each beverage type were compared across sociodemographic and lifestyle characteristics using Kruskal-Wallis rank tests. Several factors were associated with alcohol consumption ≥ 10 g/day in both genders: older age (pmen = 0.02, pwomen < 0.0001), smoking (pmen&women < 0.0001), higher socioprofessional category (pmen&women < 0.0001), higher income (pmen = 0.003, pwomen  < 0.0001) and less healthy dietary intakes. Profiles of subjects varied across alcoholic beverage types. Men with history of cardiovascular disease (p = 0.0002) or depression (p = 0.03) and women with history of cirrhosis (p  < 0.0001) consumed less alcohol. In women, personal history of cancer was associated with a lower proportion of moderate alcohol users only (< 10 g/day, p = 0.04). In both genders, higher alcohol drinkers clustered more cancer risk factors (median = 5, apart from alcohol) than nondrinkers (median = 4), p < 0.0001. The multiplicity of deleterious lifestyle behaviors combined with alcohol drinking must be taken into account in cancer prevention efforts. Gender-specific medical advice for people with personal or family history of alcohol-related diseases, including cancer, should be strengthened.

Assessment of response consistency and respective participant profiles in the Internet-based NutriNet-Santé Cohort.

Am J Epidemiol. 2014 179(7):910-916

Andreeva VA, Galan P, Julia C, Castetbon K, Kesse-Guyot E, Hercberg S.

Whereas the feasibility and effectiveness of Internet-based epidemiologic research have been established, methodological support for the quality of such data is still accumulating. We aimed to identify sociodemographic differences among members of a French cohort according to willingness to provide part of one's 15-digit national identification number (personal Social Security number (PSSN)) and to assess response consistency based on information reported on the sociodemographic questionnaire and that reflected in the PSSN. We studied 100,118 persons enrolled in an Internet-based prospective cohort study, the NutriNet-Santé Study, between 2009 and 2013. Persons aged 18 years or more who resided in France and had Internet access were eligible for enrollment. The sociodemographic profiles of participants with discordant data were compared against those of participants with concordant data via 2-sided polytomous logistic regression. In total, 84,442 participants (84.3%) provided the first 7 digits of their PSSN, and among them 5,141 (6.1%) had discordant data. Our multivariate analysis revealed differences by sex, age, education, and employment as regards response consistency patterns. The results support the quality of sociodemographic data obtained online from a large and diverse volunteer sample. The quantitative description of participant profiles according to response consistency patterns could inform future methodological work in e-epidemiology.

The Associations between Emotional Eating and Consumption of Energy-Dense Snack Foods Are Modified by Sex and Depressive Symptomatology.

J Nutr. 2014 144(8):1264-73

Camilleri GM, Méjean C, Kesse-Guyot E, Andreeva VA, Bellisle F, Hercberg S, Péneau S.

In recent years, emotional eating (EmE) has incited substantial research interest as an important psychologic determinant of food vb intake and overweight. However, little is known about factors that might modulate its relations with dietary habits. The objective was to examine the association between EmE and consumption of energy-dense snack food and assess the 2-way interaction of EmE with sex and depressive symptoms. A total of 7378 men and 22,862 women from the NutriNet-Santé cohort (France, 2009-2013) who completed ≥6 self-reported 24-h food records were included in this cross-sectional analysis. EmE was evaluated via the revised 21-item Three-Factor Eating Questionnaire. Depressive symptoms were assessed by the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale. The associations between EmE and energy-dense food consumption were assessed by multivariable logistic and linear regression models adjusted for sociodemographic and lifestyle factors. Higher EmE was associated with higher consumption of energy-dense snacks and, in particular, with consumption of sweet-and-fatty foods across most categories studied. However, these associations were stronger in women with depressive symptoms (e.g., high consumption of chocolate, OR: 1.77, 95% CI: 1.43, 2.20; cakes/biscuits/pastries, OR: 1.81, 95% CI: 1.45, 2.26) compared with those without depressive symptoms (e.g., high consumption of chocolate, OR: 1.52, 95% CI: 1.36, 1.69; cakes/biscuits/pastries, OR: 1.44, 95% CI: 1.29, 1.61). In contrast, the significant positive associations observed in men without depressive symptoms (e.g., high consumption of chocolate, OR: 1.33, 95% CI: 1.16, 1.52; cakes/biscuits/pastries, OR: 1.28, 95% CI: 1.11, 1.48) were not found in men with depressive symptoms. In conclusion, in women, EmE was positively associated with consumption of energy-dense snack food, particularly in those with depressive symptoms. For men, the relation between EmE and energy-dense snack foods was found only in those without depressive symptoms. These findings call for consideration of the psychologic state when targeting unhealthy dietary habits, especially in women. This trial was registered at as 2013-000929-31.

Association of Perception of Front-of-Pack Labels with Dietary, Lifestyle and Health Characteristics.

Plos One. 2014 9(3):e90971

Méjean C, Macouillard P, Peneau S, Hercberg S, Castetbon K.


To identify patterns of perception of front-of-pack (FOP) nutrition labels and determine dietary, lifestyle and health profiles related to such patterns.



28,952 French adults participating in the web-based Nutrinet-Santé cohort.
Perception was measured using indicators of understanding and acceptability for three simple FOP labels (“green tick”, the logo of the French Nutrition and Health Program and “simple traffic lights” (STL)), and two detailed FOP formats (“multiple traffic lights” (MTL) and “color range” logo (CR)), placed on ready-to-eat soup packages. Dietary intake data were collected using three web-based 24 h records.
Associations of perception patterns with individual characteristics, including diet, lifestyle and health status, were examined using analysis of covariance and logistic regression, adjusted for socio-demographic and economic factors.
No clear trend emerged concerning differences in dietary intake between perception groups. Low physical activity and obesity were more frequent in the ‘favorable to STL’ group (respectively, 20.7% and 10.7%). The ‘favorable to MTL’ group included the highest percentage of individuals who declared type 2 diabetes (2.2%). Persons with hypertension were proportionally more numerous in the ‘favorable to MTL’ and the ‘favorable to CR logo’ groups (respectively, 9.5% and 9.3%).

Association between intake of nutrients and food groups and liking for fat (The Nutrinet-Santé Study).

Appetite. 2014 78:147-55

Méjean C, Deglaire A, Kesse-Guyot, Hercberg S, Schlich P, Castetbon K.

Apart from the established association between liking for fat and fat intake, little is known about the association between liking for fat and intake of specific nutrients or food groups. We investigated the association between dietary intake and liking for fat, fat-and-sweet and fat-and-salt. Liking scores were constructed using a validated preference questionnaire administered to 41,595 French adults participating in the Nutrinet-Santé study. Dietary data were collected using web-based 24 h records. Relationships between liking and dietary intake were assessed using linear regression adjusted for age and energy intake. Results are expressed in percentage difference of intake between individuals with low liking and those with high liking. Compared with participants with low liking for fat, individuals with a strong liking for fat had higher intakes of total energy (+10.1% in women (W); +8.4% in men (M)), fats (W: +7.3%; M: +10.0%), saturated fats (W: +10.8%; M+15.4%), meat (W: +13.0%; M: +12.6%), butter (W: +34.0%; M: +48.1%), sweetened cream desserts (W: +14.8%; M: +21.1%) and croissant-like pastries (W: +27.2%; M: +36.9). They also consumed lower quantities of omega-3 fatty acids (W: -6.2%;M: -6.0%), fiber (W: -16.4%; M: -18.9%), fruits (W: -28.8%; M: -29.5%), vegetables (W: -16.4%; M: -19.7%) and yogurt (W: -12.1%; M: -14.8%). Participants with high liking for fat-and-salt had higher intakes of total energy, sodium and alcoholic beverages and lower consumption of total and simple carbohydrates and fruit and vegetables than persons with high liking for fat-and-sweet. Our study contributes to the understanding of liking as a determinant of dietary intake. It highlighted that increased liking for fat, especially fat-and-salt liking, was associated with a lower intake of healthy foods, such as fruit and vegetables.

Weight-loss strategies used by the general population: how are they perceived ?

PLoS One. 2014 9:e97834

Julia C, Peneau S, Andreeva VA, Mejean C, Fezeu L, Galan P, Hercberg S.

The rising prevalence of obesity and the social pressure for thinness increase the prevalence of dieting. However, little is known about the overall perception of dieting strategies actually used by the general population.
Our main objective was to investigate perceptions of weight-loss practices in an observational study in order to identify the most favourable strategy.
Adults from the ongoing Nutrinet-Santé cohort study who had reported engaging in dieting in the three previous years were included in the study. For each diet, detailed information was collected on types of diets, circumstances and perception of the diet, and outcomes. Perceptions were compared across diets using sex-specific mixed effects models.
Among the 48 435 subjects who had completed the respective questionnaire, 12 673 (26.7%, 87.8% of women) had followed at least one weight-loss diet in the previous three years. Diet plans prescribed by health professionals and diets conforming to official dietary recommendations were the most favourably perceived among all assessed weight-loss strategies. Alternatively, commercial diet plans and self-imposed dietary restrictions were more negatively perceived (Odds ratios (OR) for adherence difficulty 1.30 (95% confidence interval (0.99;1.7)) in men and OR 1.92 (1.76;2.10) in women compared to official nutritional guidelines; OR 1.06 (0.82;1.38) in men and OR 1.39 (1.26;1.54) in women respectively) compared to official nutritional guidelines.
Official dietary recommendations could be useful tools for maintaining a dietary balance while following a weight-loss diet.

Development and validation of an individual dietary index based on the British Food Standard Agency nutrient profiling system in a French context.

J Nutr. 2014 144:2009-17

Julia C, Touvier M, Mejean C, Ducrot P, Peneau S, Hercberg S, Kesse-Guyot E.

Nutrient profiling systems could be useful public health tools as a basis for front-of-package nutrition labeling, advertising regulations, or food taxes. However, their ability beyond characterization of foods to adequately characterize individual diets necessitates further investigation.
The objectives of this study were 1) to calculate a score at the individual level based on the British Food Standard Agency (FSA) food-level nutrient profiling system of each food consumed, and 2) to evaluate the validity of the resulting diet-quality score against food group consumption, nutrient intake, and sociodemographic and lifestyle variables.
A representative sample of the French population was selected from the NutriNet-Santé Study (n = 4225). Dietary data were collected through repeated 24-h dietary records. Sociodemographic and lifestyle data were self-reported. All foods consumed were characterized by their FSA nutrient profile, and the energy intake from each food consumed was used to compute FSA-derived aggregated scores at the individual level. A score of adherence to French nutritional recommendations [Programme National Nutrition Santé guideline score (PNNS-GS)] was computed as a comparison diet-quality score. Associations between food consumption, nutritional indicators, lifestyle and sociodemographic variables, and quartiles of aggregated scores were investigated using ANOVAs and linear regression models.
Participants with more favorable scores consumed higher amounts of fruits [difference Δ = 156 g/d between quartile 1 (less favorable) and quartile 4 (most favorable), P < 0.001], vegetables (Δ = 85 g/d, P < 0.001), and fish, and lower amounts of snack foods (Δ = -72 g/d, P < 0.001 for sugary snacks); they also had higher vitamin and mineral intakes and lower intakes of saturated fat. Participants with more favorable scores also had a higher adherence to nutritional recommendations measured with the PNNS-GS (Δ = 2.13 points, P < 0.001). Women, older subjects, and higher-income subjects were more likely to have more favorable scores.
Our results show adequate validity of the FSA nutrient profiling system to characterize individual diets in a French context. The NutriNet-Santé Study was registered in the European Clinical Trials Database (EudraCT) as 2013-000929-31.