The NutriNet-Santé study has been developed to study the relationship between nutrition and health, and the determinants of dietary behavior, as well as to monitor nutritional trends in the population and assess the impact of public health campaigns or actions. This is a true research infrastructure, with the aim of optimizing policies and assisting decision-making in Public Health Nutrition.
Recruitment was launched in 2009 and is still open to volunteers aged 15 and over. Volunteers are registered and followed on a dedicated platform (https://etude-nutrinet-sante.fr/), which enables a multitude of information to be collected repeatedly over time, using validated questionnaires: recurring questionnaires on socio-demographic situation and lifestyle, diet (3 24-hour food recordings every 6 months, including >3500 generic food items + brands of industrial foods, times of intake, etc. ), physical activity (IPAQ), anthropometric characteristics and health, and targeted questionnaires on specific aspects (quantitative data on organic food consumption, dietary supplements, procurement methods, etc.).
In the field of nutrition-health research, NutriNet-Santé was the world’s first internet-based cohort on such a large scale (over 174,000 participants in 2023). Its key features include highly accurate estimates of nutritional exposure and current and emerging dietary behaviours. A biobank containing samples of serum, plasma, buffy-coat for genetic analysis and urine has been set up from 19,600 volunteers in 2011-2014. A stool collection to study intestinal microbiota is planned for 2023.
These assets make NutriNet-Santé a unique infrastructure for multidisciplinary research projects and collaborations, and one of the best positioned internationally for the study of dietary behaviors, nutritional exposures and links to health, within the framework of excellent participatory research. In particular, it has the capacity and flexibility to add new protocols and questionnaires, and thus to rapidly collect large quantities of high-quality data. In fact, the methodological work developed within the NutriNet-Santé framework is an international pioneer in e-epidemiology.
Over the past 14 years, the NutriNet-Santé study has already given rise to more than 250 international scientific publications, over 350 presentations at congresses in France and abroad, and thousands of articles in the national and international media. This work has had a strong public health impact at national and international level on several themes such as Nutri-Score, ultra-processed foods, organics and sustainability (impact on the public health recommendations of the PNNS, INCa, WCRF, IARC-WHO, concrete tools for citizens, regular hearings at the French National Assembly and Senate, etc.).
We are also in the process of expanding internationally: the Belgian part of the study has already been launched and is directly linked to our platform, and we are committed to transferring our know-how to other countries, in order to set up similar NutriNet studies in Canada and Brazil, for example.