Food and Behaviour Research

Donate Log In

Innovative newsletter interventions improve fruit and vegetable consumption in healthy adults

Lutz, S.F., Ammerman, A.S., Atwood, J.R., Campbell, M.K., DeVellis, R.F., Rosamond, W.D. (1999) J Am Diet Assoc 99(6) 705-9. 

Web URL: View this and related abstracts via PubMed here


OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effectiveness of computer-tailored newsletter interventions in improving the number and variety of fruits and vegetables eaten by adults.

DESIGN: The 4-group randomized trial with pre- and postintervention measures consisted of a control group and 3 intervention groups receiving nontailored newsletters, computer-tailored newsletters, or tailored newsletters with tailored goal-setting information. Intervention groups received 1 newsletter each month for 4 months.

SUBJECTS: Baseline surveys were completed by 710 health maintenance organization clients. Postintervention surveys administered 6 months after baseline were completed by 573 participants (80.8%).

INTERVENTION: All newsletters contained strategies for improving fruit and vegetable consumption. Tailored newsletters used computer algorithms to match a person's baseline survey information with the most relevant newsletter messages for promoting dietary change.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Daily intake and weekly variety of fruits and vegetables were measured using a food frequency questionnaire.

STATISTICAL ANALYSES PERFORMED: Analysis of covariance and Tukey's honestly significant difference test were used to assess differences in the number and variety of fruits and vegetables consumed among intervention groups.

RESULTS: For persons completing postintervention surveys (n = 573), all 3 newsletter groups had significantly higher daily intake and variety scores compared with the control group. Although there was a trend of improved intake and variety with each added newsletter element, there were no significant differences at follow-up among the newsletter groups.

CONCLUSIONS: Newsletters can be effective in improving the fruit and vegetable consumption of adults. In this study, a computer-tailoring system did not significantly enhance the effect of the nutrition newsletters on fruit and vegetable intake.