Date: December 19, 2009
Alexander, G. L., J. B. McClure, et al. (2010). "A randomized clinical trial evaluating online interventions to improve fruit and vegetable consumption." Am J Public Health 100(2): 319-326.
OBJECTIVES: We assessed change in fruit and vegetable intake in a population-based sample, comparing an online untailored program (arm 1) with a tailored behavioral intervention (arm 2) and with a tailored behavioral intervention plus motivational interviewing-based counseling via e-mail (arm 3). METHODS: We conducted a randomized controlled intervention trial, enrolling members aged 21 to 65 years from 5 health plans in Seattle, Washington; Denver, Colorado; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Detroit, Michigan; and Atlanta, Georgia. Participants reported fruit and vegetable intake at baseline and at 3, 6, and 12 months. We assessed mean change in fruit and vegetable servings per day at 12 months after baseline, using a validated self-report fruit and vegetable food frequency questionnaire. RESULTS: Of 2540 trial participants, 80% were followed up at 12 months. Overall baseline mean fruit and vegetable intake was 4.4 servings per day. Average servings increased by more than 2 servings across all study arms (P<.001), with the greatest increase (+2.8 servings) among participants of arm 3 (P=.05, compared with control). Overall program satisfaction was high. CONCLUSIONS: This online nutritional intervention was well received, convenient, easy to disseminate, and associated with sustained dietary change. Such programs have promise as population-based dietary interventions.