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A computerised tailored intervention for increasing intakes of fruit, vegetables, brown bread and wholegrain cereals in adolescent girls

  • Gail Rees (a1), Savita Bakhshi (a2), Alecia Surujlal-Harry (a2), Mikis Stasinopoulos (a3) and Anna Baker (a2)...

Abstract

Objective

To evaluate the effectiveness of a computer-generated tailored intervention leaflet compared with a generic leaflet aimed at increasing brown bread, wholegrain cereal, fruit and vegetable intakes in adolescent girls.

Design

Clustered randomised controlled trial. Dietary intake was assessed via three 24 h dietary recalls.

Setting

Eight secondary schools in areas of low income and/or high ethnic diversity, five in London and three in the West Midlands, UK.

Subjects

Girls aged 12–16 years participated (n 823) and were randomised by school class to receive either the tailored intervention (n 406) or a generic leaflet (n 417).

Results

At follow-up 637 (77 %) participants completed both baseline and follow-up dietary recalls. The tailored intervention leaflet had a statistically significant effect on brown bread intake (increasing from 0·39 to 0·51 servings/d) with a smaller but significant increase in the control group also (increasing from 0·28 to 0·35 servings/d). The intervention group achieved 0·05 more servings of brown bread daily than the control group (P < 0·05), which is equivalent to 0·35 servings/week. For the other foods there were no significant effects of the tailored intervention.

Conclusions

The intervention group consumed approximately 0·35 more servings of brown bread weekly than the control group from baseline. Although this change between groups was statistically significant the magnitude was small. Evaluation of the intervention was disappointing but the tailored leaflet was received more positively in some respects than the control leaflet. More needs to be done to increase motivation to change dietary intake in adolescent girls.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Email gail.rees@plymouth.ac.uk

References

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