Online intervention increases fruit and vegetable consumption
A randomized clinical trial evaluating online interventions to improve fruit and vegetable consumption. Alexander GL, McClure JB, Calvi JH, Divine GW, Stopponi MA, Rolnick SJ, Heimendinger J, Tolsma DD, Resnicow K, Campbell MK, Strecher VJ, Johnson CC, MENU Choices Team. Am J Public Health. 2010. 100(2): 319-26. Epub 2009 Dec 17.
To assess the change in fruit and vegetable consumption in participants taking part in an online intervention.
2,540 health plan members from five US health plans, aged 21 to 65 years.
Participants were randomized to one of three groups (arms), and followed an online intervention aimed to increase fruit and vegetable consumption. The three arms were, Arm 1: a non-tailored online healthy eating intervention, Arm 2: a tailored healthy eating online intervention, and Arm 3: the tailored healthy eating online intervention plus additional motivational email counseling. The change in fruit and vegetable consumption in the three arms was compared after 12 months.
- Average fruit and vegetable intake increased by more than 2 servings across all study arms over 12 months.
- In the non-tailored intervention (Arm 1) the increase was 2.3 servings.
- When the online intervention was tailored (Arm 2) the increase was 2.7 servings.
- The greatest increase was an additional 2.8 servings was among participants of Arm 3, the tailored online tool with additional email counseling.
- Overall program satisfaction was high.
- The program was well received and participants reported telling their family about the intervention.
What does this mean?
Online nutritional intervention can successfully improve diets, even more so when they are tailored and supported by additional motivational counseling.