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Partner- and planning-based interventions to reduce fat consumption: randomized controlled trial.

Andrew Prestwich, Mark Conner, Rebecca Lawton, Jane Ward, Karen Ayres, Rosemary McEachan

British journal of health psychology [19:132-48] (2014)

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The research tested the efficacy of partner- and planning-based interventions to reduce dietary fat intake over a 6-month period. Randomized controlled, blinded, parallel trial. A computer randomization feature was used to allocate council employees (N = 427, of which 393 completed baseline measures) to one of four conditions (partner + implementation intentions, partner-only, implementation intentions, and control group) before they completed measures at baseline and follow-ups at 1, 3, and 6 months post-baseline. Outcome measures were comprised of validated self-report measures of dietary fat intake (saturated fat intake, fat intake, ratio of 'good' fats to 'bad' fats); psychosocial mediators (enjoyment, intention, self-efficacy, social influence, partner support); weight and waist size (baseline and 6 months only). Data from 393 participants were analysed in accordance with intention-to-treat analyses. All intervention groups reported greater reductions in fat intake than the control group at 3 months. The partner-based groups increased the ratio of 'good' fats to 'bad' fats at 3 and 6 months and lost more inches on their waist, versus the non-partner groups. The impacts of the partner-based manipulations on outcomes were partially mediated by greater perceived social influences, partner support, and enjoyment of avoiding high-fat foods. The partner-based interventions also increased intention and self-efficacy. However, the effects in this study were typically small and generally marginally significant. Partner-based interventions had some positive benefits on dietary-related outcomes at 3 and 6 months. Support for implementation intentions was more limited.


The impact of a computer-tailored nutrition intervention.

J Brug, I Steenhuis, Assema van, Hein De Vries

Preventive medicine [25:236-42] ()

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Nutrition education tailored to individual characteristics of people might be more effective than general nutrition education. Nowadays, the use of computers makes individualized feedback available for larger groups. The impact of tailored nutrition information on changes in fat, vegetable, and fruit consumption was tested in a randomized trial among 347 employees of a major oil company. Respondents in the experimental group received computer-generated feedback letters tailored to their personal dietary behavior, attitudes, perceived social influences, self-efficacy expectations, and awareness levels. Respondents in the control group received general nutrition information. Respondents in the experimental group decreased their fat consumption significantly more than the control group between baseline and posttest. A significant effect of tailoring was also found for changes in attitudes and intentions toward reducing fat intake and increasing fruit and vegetable consumption. Furthermore, respondents in the experimental group were more satisfied with the nutrition information they received and more often reported changing their diet or intention as a result of the information. It is concluded that computer-tailored nutrition information is a promising means of stimulating people to change their diet toward dietary recommendations.


The D-Net diabetes self-management program: long-term implementation, outcomes, and generalization results.

Russell Glasgow, Shawn Boles, H Garth McKay, Edward Feil, Manuel Barrera

Preventive medicine [36:410-9] (2003)

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A prerequisite to translating research findings into practice is information on consistency of implementation, maintenance of results, and generalization of effects. This follow-up report is one of the few experimental studies to provide such information on Internet-based health education. We present follow-up data 10 months following randomization on the "Diabetes Network (D-Net)" Internet-based self-management project, a randomized trial evaluating the incremental effects of adding (1) tailored self-management training or (2) peer support components to a basic Internet-based, information-focused comparison intervention. Participants were 320 adult type 2 diabetes patients from participating primary care offices, mean age 59 (SD = 9.2), who were relatively novice Internet users. All intervention components were consistently implemented by staff, but participant website usage decreased over time. All conditions were significantly improved from baseline on behavioral, psychosocial, and some biological outcomes; and there were few differences between conditions. Results were robust across on-line coaches, patient characteristics, and participating clinics. The basic D-Net intervention was implemented well and improvements were observed across a variety of patients, interventionists, and clinics. There were, however, difficulties in maintaining usage over time and additions of tailored self-management and peer support components generally did not significantly improve results.


Nutrition intervention for high-risk auto workers: results of the Next Step Trial.

B Tilley, K Glanz, A Kristal, K Hirst, S Li, S Vernon, R Myers

Preventive medicine [28:284-92] (1999)

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The Next Step Trial tested interventions encouraging prevention and early detection practices in automotive-industry employees at increased colorectal cancer risk. This article describes results of the nutrition intervention promoting low-fat, high-fiber eating patterns. Twenty-eight worksites (5,042 employees at baseline) were randomized to a 2-year nutrition intervention including classes, mailed self-help materials, and personalized dietary feedback. Control worksites received no intervention. Nutrition outcomes were assessed by mailed food frequency questionnaires (FFQs) Primary nutrition outcomes included percentage energy from fat and fiber density (g/1,000 kcal) at 1 year postrandomization. Secondary outcomes included servings of fruits/vegetables and dietary measures at 2 years postrandomization. Analyses were adjusted for within worksite correlations and baseline covariates. Fifty-eight percent of employees returned FFQs. At 1 year, there were modest but statistically significant intervention effects for fat (-0.9 %en), fiber (+0.5 g/1,000 kcal), and fruits/vegetables (+0.2 servings/day) (all P < 0.007). At 2 years, due to significant positive changes in control worksites, intervention effects were smaller, significant for fiber only. Intervention effects were larger in younger (<50 years), active employees and class attendees. The nutrition intervention produced significant but modest effects on dietary fat and fiber and fruits/vegetables in these high-risk employees. Age and dose effects suggest younger employees may be more responsive to this intervention.


Behaviour change techniques targeting both diet and physical activity in type 2 diabetes: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Kevin Cradock, Gearóid ÓLaighin, Francis Finucane, Heather Gainforth, Leo Quinlan, Kathleen A Martin Ginis

The international journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity [14:18] (2017)

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Changing diet and physical activity behaviour is one of the cornerstones of type 2 diabetes treatment, but changing behaviour is challenging. The objective of this study was to identify behaviour change techniques (BCTs) and intervention features of dietary and physical activity interventions for patients with type 2 diabetes that are associated with changes in HbA1c and body weight. We performed a systematic review of papers published between 1975-2015 describing randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that focused exclusively on both diet and physical activity. The constituent BCTs, intervention features and methodological rigour of these interventions were evaluated. Changes in HbA1c and body weight were meta-analysed and examined in relation to use of BCTs. Thirteen RCTs were identified. Meta-analyses revealed reductions in HbA1c at 3, 6, 12 and 24 months of -1.11 % (12 mmol/mol), -0.67 % (7 mmol/mol), -0.28 % (3 mmol/mol) and -0.26 % (2 mmol/mol) with an overall reduction of -0.53 % (6 mmol/mol [95 % CI -0.74 to -0.32, P < 0.00001]) in intervention groups compared to control groups. Meta-analyses also showed a reduction in body weight of -2.7 kg, -3.64 kg, -3.77 kg and -3.18 kg at 3, 6, 12 and 24 months, overall reduction was -3.73 kg (95 % CI -6.09 to -1.37 kg, P = 0.002). Four of 46 BCTs identified were associated with >0.3 % reduction in HbA1c: 'instruction on how to perform a behaviour', 'behavioural practice/rehearsal', 'demonstration of the behaviour' and 'action planning', as were intervention features 'supervised physical activity', 'group sessions', 'contact with an exercise physiologist', 'contact with an exercise physiologist and a dietitian', 'baseline HbA1c >8 %' and interventions of greater frequency and intensity. Diet and physical activity interventions achieved clinically significant reductions in HbA1c at three and six months, but not at 12 and 24 months. Specific BCTs and intervention features identified may inform more effective structured lifestyle intervention treatment strategies for type 2 diabetes.


Cancer prevention for working class, multi-ethnic populations through health centers: the healthy directions study.

Karen Emmons, Anne Stoddard, Caitlin Gutheil, Elizabeth Suarez, Rebecca Lobb, Robert Fletcher

Cancer causes & control : CCC [14:727-37] (2003)

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This paper presents the study design and baseline data from Healthy Directions-Health Centers (HCs), a study designed to address social contextual factors in cancer prevention interventions for working class, multi-ethnic populations. This study is part of the Harvard Cancer Prevention Program Project. Ten community HCs were paired and randomly assigned to intervention or control. Patients who resided in low income, multi-ethnic neighborhoods were identified and approached for participation. This study targeted fruit and vegetable consumption, red meat consumption, multi-vitamin intake, and physical activity. The intervention components consisted of: (1) a brief in-person study endorsement from the participant's clinician at a scheduled routine care visit; (2) an initial in-person counseling session with a health advisor; (3) four follow-up telephone counseling sessions; (4) multiple mailings of tailored materials; and (5) linkages to relevant activities in the local community. Fifteen percent of the sample smoked, 86% reported eating fewer than five servings of fruits and vegetables per day, 50% reported eating more than the recommended amounts of red meat, 40% did not meet recommended physical activity levels, and 63% did not take a multi-vitamin on a daily basis. Although overall social support was high, participants reported low levels of social norms for the target prevention behaviors. Other social contextual mediators and modifying factors are reported. By examining the relationships between social contextual factors and health behaviors, it may be possible to enhance the effectiveness of interventions aimed at reducing social inequalities in risk behaviors.


Demonstration of an E-mailed worksite nutrition intervention program.

Gladys Block, Torin Block, Patricia Wakimoto, Clifford Block

Preventing chronic disease [1:A06] (2004)

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Dietary fat and low fruit and vegetable intake are linked to many chronic diseases, and U.S. population intake does not meet recommendations. Interventions are needed that incorporate effective behavior-change principles and that can be delivered inexpensively to large segments of the population. Employees at a corporate worksite were invited to participate in a program, delivered entirely by e-mail, to reduce dietary fat and increase fruit and vegetable intake. Behavior-change principles underlying the intervention included tailoring to the participant's dietary lifestyle, baseline assessment and feedback about dietary intake, family participation, and goal setting. Assessment, tailoring, and delivery was fully automated. The program was delivered weekly to participants' e-mail inboxes for 12 weeks. Each e-mail included information on nutrition or on the relationship between diet and health, dietary tips tailored to the individual, and small goals to try for the next week. In this nonrandomized pilot study, we assessed technical feasibility, acceptability to employees, improvement in Stage of Change, increase in fruit and vegetable consumption, and decrease in fat intake. Approximately one third (n = 84) of employees who were offered the 12-week program signed up for it, and satisfaction was high. There was significant improvement in Stage of Change: 74% of those not already at the top had forward movement (P < .001). In addition, results suggest significant increase in fruit and vegetable consumption (0.73 times/day, P < .001) and significant decrease in intake of fat sources (-0.39 times/day, P < .001). This inexpensive program is feasible and appears to be effective. A randomized controlled trial is needed.


ShopSmart 4 Health: results of a randomized controlled trial of a behavioral intervention promoting fruit and vegetable consumption among socioeconomically disadvantaged women.

Kylie Ball, Sarah McNaughton, Nd Le Ha, Gavin Abbott, Lena Stephens, David Crawford

The American journal of clinical nutrition (2016)

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Behavioral interventions show potential for promoting increased fruit and vegetable consumption in the general population. However, little is known about their effectiveness or cost-effectiveness among socioeconomically disadvantaged groups, who are less likely to consume adequate fruit and vegetables. This study investigated the effects and costs of a behavior change intervention for increasing fruit and vegetable purchasing and consumption among socioeconomically disadvantaged women. ShopSmart 4 Health was a randomized controlled trial involving a 3-mo retrospective baseline data collection phase [time (T) 0], a 6-mo intervention (T1-T2), and a 6-mo no-intervention follow-up (T3). Socioeconomically disadvantaged women who were primary household shoppers in Melbourne, Australia, were randomly assigned to either a behavior change intervention arm (n = 124) or a control arm (n = 124). Supermarket transaction (sales) data and surveys measured the main outcomes: fruit and vegetable purchases and self-reported fruit and vegetable consumption. An analysis of supermarket transaction data showed no significant intervention effects on vegetable or fruit purchasing at T2 or T3. Participants in the behavior change intervention arm reported consumption of significantly more vegetables during the intervention (T2) than did controls, with smaller intervention effects sustained at 6 mo postintervention (T3). Relative to controls, vegetable consumption increased by ∼0.5 serving · participant(-1) · d(-1) from baseline to T2 and remained 0.28 servings/d higher than baseline at T3 among those who received the intervention. There was no intervention effect on reported fruit consumption. The behavior change intervention cost A$3.10 (in Australian dollars) · increased serving of vegetables(-1) · d(-1)Conclusions: This behavioral intervention increased vegetable consumption among socioeconomically disadvantaged women. However, the lack of observed effects on fruit consumption and on both fruit and vegetable purchasing at intervention stores suggests that further investigation of effective nutrition promotion approaches for this key target group is required. The ShopSmart 4 Health trial was registered at www.isrctn.com as ISRCTN48771770.


Promoting healthy weight with "stability skills first": a randomized trial.

Michaela Kiernan, Susan Brown, Danielle Schoffman, Katherine Lee, Abby King, C Barr Taylor, Nina Schleicher, Michael Perri

Journal of consulting and clinical psychology [81:336-46] (2013)

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Although behavioral weight-loss interventions produce short-term weight loss, long-term maintenance remains elusive. This randomized trial examined whether learning a novel set of "stability skills" before losing weight improved long-term weight management. Stability skills were designed to optimize individuals' current satisfaction with lifestyle and self-regulatory habits while requiring the minimum effort and attention necessary. Overweight/obese women (N = 267) were randomly assigned to one of two 6-month interventions and assessed at baseline and at 6, 12, and 18 months. Maintenance First women participated first in an 8-week stability skills maintenance module and then in a standard 20-week behavioral weight-loss program. Weight Loss First women participated first in a standard 20-week behavioral weight-loss program and then in a standard 8-week problem-solving skills maintenance module. There was no intervention staff contact during the 12-month follow-up period (6-18 months). As designed, Maintenance First participants lost the same percentage of initial weight during the 6-month intervention period as Weight Loss First participants (M = -8.6%, SD = 5.7, vs. M = -9.1%, SD = 6.9; t = -0.6, p = .52). However, Maintenance First participants regained significantly less weight during the 12-month follow-up period (6-18 months) than Weight Loss First participants (M = 3.2 lb, SD = 10.4, vs. M = 7.3 lb, SD = 9.9 [M = 1.4 kg, SD = 4.7, vs. M = 3.3 kg, SD = 4.5]; t = 3.3, p = .001, d = 0.4). Learning stability skills before losing weight was successful in helping women to maintain weight loss without intervention staff contact during follow-up. These results can inform the study design of future innovative interventions.


Toward the optimal strategy for sustained weight loss in overweight cancer survivors: a systematic review of the literature.

Meeke Hoedjes, Maartje M van Stralen, Sheena Tjon A Joe, Matti Rookus, Flora van Leeuwen, Susan Michie, Jacob Seidell, Ellen Kampman

Journal of cancer survivorship : research and practice (2017)

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To gain more insight into the optimal strategy to achieve weight loss and weight loss maintenance in overweight and obese cancer survivors after completion of initial treatment, this systematic review aimed to provide an overview of the literature on intervention effects on weight, to describe intervention components used in effective interventions, to identify and synthesize behaviour change techniques (BCTs) and to assess the frequency with which these BCTs were used in effective interventions. Six databases were searched for original research articles describing weight changes in adult overweight cancer survivors after participation in a lifestyle intervention initiated after completion of initial treatment. Two researchers independently screened the retrieved papers and extracted BCTs using the BCT Taxonomy version 1. Thirty-two papers describing 27 interventions were included. Interventions that were evaluated with a robust study design (n = 8) generally showed <5% weight loss and did not evaluate effects at ≥12 months after intervention completion. Effective interventions promoted both diet and physical activity and used the BCTs 'goal setting (behaviour)', 'action planning', 'social support (unspecified)' and 'instruction on how to perform the behaviour'. The results of this first review on intervention components of effective interventions could be used to inform intervention development and showed a need for future publications to report long-term effects, a detailed intervention description and an extensive process evaluation. This study contributed to increasing knowledge on the optimal strategy to achieve weight loss, which is recommended for overweight cancer survivors to improve health outcomes.


Development of the SALdável programme to reduce salt intake among hypertensive Brazilian women: an intervention mapping approach.

Marilia Cornélio, Gaston Godin, Roberta Rodrigues, Rúbia Agondi, Thaís Spana, Maria-Cecilia Gallani

European journal of cardiovascular nursing : journal of the Working Group on Cardiovascular Nursing of the European Society of Cardiology [12:385-92] (2013)

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Despite strong evidence for a relationship between high salt intake and hypertension, plus the widespread recommendations for dietary salt restriction among hypertensive subjects, there are no nursing studies describing effective theory-based interventions. To describe a systematic process for development of a theory-based nursing intervention that is aimed at reducing salt intake among hypertensive women, by applying the 'intervention mapping' protocol. We developed our intervention following the six steps of the 'intervention mapping' protocol: assessing needs, creating a matrix of change objectives, selecting theoretical methods and practical applications, defining the intervention programme, organizing the adoption and implementation plan, and defining the evaluation plan. Addition of salt during cooking is identified as the main source for salt consumption, plus women are identified as the people responsible for cooking meals at home. In our study, the motivational predictors of this behaviour were self-efficacy and habit. Guided practice, verbal persuasion, coping barriers, consciousness-raising and counter-conditioning were the theoretical methods we selected for enhancing self-efficacy and promoting habit change, respectively. Brainstorming, role-playing, cookbook use, measuring spoon use, label reading, hands-on skill-building activities and reinforcement phone calls were the chosen practical applications. We designed our intervention programme, and then organized the adoption and implementation plans. Finally, we generated a plan to evaluate our intervention. 'Intervention mapping' was a feasible methodological framework to guide the development of a theory-based nursing intervention for dietary salt reduction among hypertensive women.


Development of an Evidence-Informed Blog to Promote Healthy Eating Among Mothers: Use of the Intervention Mapping Protocol.

Audrée-Anne Dumas, Simone Lemieux, Annie Lapointe, Véronique Provencher, Julie Robitaille, Sophie Desroches

JMIR research protocols [6:e92] (2017)

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Low adherence to dietary guidelines and a concurrent rise of obesity-related chronic diseases emphasize the need for effective interventions to promote healthy eating. There is growing recognition that behavior change interventions should draw on theories of behavior change. Online interventions grounded in theory lead to increased effectiveness for health behavior change; however, few theory-driven social media-based health promotion interventions have been described in the literature. The objective of this study was to describe the application of the Intervention Mapping (IM) protocol to develop an evidence-informed blog to promote healthy eating among French-Canadian mothers of preschool and school-aged children. The following six steps of the IM protocol were performed. In Step 1, a preliminary needs assessment included a literature search on theoretical domains predicting Vegetables and Fruits intakes and Milk and Alternatives intakes in adults (ie, knowledge, beliefs about capabilities, beliefs about consequences, intention/goals) and a qualitative study including focus groups to identify female Internet users' perceptions of their use of healthy eating blogs. In Step 2, two behavioral outcomes were selected (ie, increase daily intakes of Vegetables and Fruits and Milk and Alternatives of mothers to reach Canadian dietary recommendations) and subsequently divided into six performance objectives inspired by national and international dietary recommendations such as planning for healthy meals. A matrix of change objectives was then created by crossing performance objectives with theoretical domains predicting Vegetables and Fruits intakes and Milk and Alternatives intakes in adults. Step 3 consisted of selecting theory-based intervention methods (eg, modeling and goal setting) and translating them into practical applications for the context of a dietary intervention delivered through a blog. A 6-month intervention was developed in Step 4 in which we aimed to address one performance objective per month in weekly blog publications written by a registered dietitian. For Step 5, we sought to include engagement-promoting methods (eg, peer and counselor support) to promote mothers' use of the blog and adherence to the intervention. Finally in Step 6, a randomized controlled trial has been launched to evaluate the effects of the blog on dietary behaviors of French-Canadian mothers. The intervention study is expected to be completed in March 2018. An intervention mapping protocol allowed for effective decision making in the development of a novel knowledge translation tool to increase adherence to dietary recommendations among mothers of preschool and school-aged children.


Development and preliminary evaluation of an internet-based healthy eating program: randomized controlled trial.

Katy Tapper, Gabriela Jiga-Boy, Gregory Maio, Geoffrey Haddock, Michael Lewis

Journal of medical Internet research [16:e231] (2014)

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The HealthValues Healthy Eating Programme is a standalone Internet-based intervention that employs a novel strategy for promoting behavior change (analyzing one's reasons for endorsing health values) alongside other psychological principles that have been shown to influence behavior. The program consists of phases targeting motivation (dietary feedback and advice, analyzing reasons for health values, thinking about health-related desires, and concerns), volition (implementation intentions with mental contrasting), and maintenance (reviewing tasks, weekly tips). The aim was to examine the effects of the program on consumption of fruit and vegetables, saturated fat, and added sugar over a 6-month period. A total of 82 females and 18 males were recruited using both online and print advertisements in the local community. They were allocated to an intervention or control group using a stratified block randomization protocol. The program was designed such that participants logged onto a website every week for 24 weeks and completed health-related measures. Those allocated to the intervention group also completed the intervention tasks at these sessions. Additionally, all participants attended laboratory sessions at baseline, 3 months, and 6 months. During these sessions, participants completed a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ, the Block Fat/Sugar/Fruit/Vegetable Screener, adapted for the UK), and researchers (blind to group allocation) measured their body mass index (BMI), waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), and heart rate variability (HRV). Data were analyzed using a series of ANOVA models. Per protocol analysis (n=92) showed a significant interaction for fruit and vegetable consumption (P=.048); the intervention group increased their intake between baseline and 6 months (3.7 to 4.1 cups) relative to the control group (3.6 to 3.4 cups). Results also showed overall reductions in saturated fat intake (20.2 to 15.6 g, P


What motivates maternal and child nutrition peer educators? Experiences of fathers and grandmothers in western Kenya.

Stephanie Martin, Teresia Muhomah, Faith Thuita, Allison Bingham, Altrena Mukuria

Social science & medicine (1982) [143:45-53] (2015)

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Peer-led dialogue groups (i.e., support or self-help groups) are a widely used community-based strategy to improve maternal and child health and nutrition. However, the experiences and motivation of peer educators who facilitate these groups are not well documented. We implemented eight father and ten grandmother peer dialogue groups in western Kenya to promote and support recommended maternal dietary and infant and young child feeding practices and sought to understand factors that influenced peer educator motivation. After four months of implementation, we conducted 17 in-depth interviews with peer educators as part of a process evaluation to understand their experiences as group facilitators as well as their motivation. We analyzed the interview transcripts thematically and then organized them by level: individual, family, peer dialogue group, organization, and community. Father and grandmother peer educators reported being motivated by multiple factors at the individual, family, dialogue group, and community levels, including increased knowledge, improved communication with their wives or daughters-in-law, increased respect and appreciation from their families, group members' positive changes in behavior, and increased recognition within their communities. This analysis also identified several organization-level factors that contributed to peer educator motivation, including clearly articulated responsibilities for peer educators; strong and consistent supportive supervision; opportunities for social support among peer educators; and working within the existing health system structure. Peer educator motivation affects performance and retention, which makes understanding and responding to their motivation essential for the successful implementation, sustainability, and scalability of community-based, peer-led nutrition interventions.


Healthy whole-grain choices for children and parents: a multi-component school-based pilot intervention.

Teri Burgess-Champoux, Hing Wan Chan, Renee Rosen, Len Marquart, Marla Reicks

Public health nutrition [11:849-59] (2008)

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The aim of the present study was to pilot-test a school-based intervention designed to increase consumption of whole grains by 4th and 5th grade children. This multi-component school-based pilot intervention utilised a quasi-experimental study design (intervention and comparison schools) that consisted of a five-lesson classroom curriculum based on Social Cognitive Theory, school cafeteria menu modifications to increase the availability of whole-grain foods and family-oriented activities. Meal observations of children estimated intake of whole grains at lunch. Children and parents completed questionnaires to assess changes in knowledge, availability, self-efficacy, usual food choice and role modelling. Parent/child pairs from two schools in the Minneapolis metropolitan area; 67 in the intervention and 83 in the comparison school. Whole-grain consumption at the lunch meal increased by 1 serving (P < 0.0001) and refined-grain consumption decreased by 1 serving for children in the intervention school compared with the comparison school post-intervention (P < 0.001). Whole-grain foods were more available in the lunches served to children in the intervention school compared with the comparison school post-intervention (P < 0.0001). The ability to identify whole-grain foods by children in both schools increased, with a trend towards a greater increase in the intervention school (P = 0.06). Parenting scores for scales for role modelling (P < 0.001) and enabling behaviours (P < 0.05) were significantly greater for parents in the intervention school compared with the comparison school post-intervention. The multi-component school-based programme implemented in the current study successfully increased the intake of whole-grain foods by children.


Comparing the effectiveness of an enhanced MOtiVational intErviewing InTervention (MOVE IT) with usual care for reducing cardiovascular risk in high risk subjects: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial.

Adam Bayley, Nicole de Zoysa, Derek Cook, Peter Whincup, Daniel Stahl, Katherine Twist, Katie Ridge, Paul McCrone, Janet Treasure, Mark Ashworth, Anne Greenough, Clare Blythe, Kirsty Winkley, Khalida Ismail

Trials [16:112] (2015)

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Interventions targeting multiple risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD), including poor diet and physical inactivity, are more effective than interventions targeting a single risk factor. A motivational interviewing (MI) intervention can provide modest dietary improvements and physical activity increases, while adding cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) skills may enhance the effects of MI. We designed a randomised controlled trial (RCT) to examine whether specific behaviour change techniques integrating MI and CBT result in favourable changes in weight and physical activity in those at high risk of CVD. A group and individual intervention will be compared to usual care. A group intervention offers potential benefits from social support and may be more cost effective. Individuals aged between 40 and 74 years in 11 South London Clinical Commissioning Groups who are at high risk of developing CVD (≥20%) in the next 10 years will be recruited. A sample of 1,704 participants will be randomised to receive the enhanced MI intervention, delivered by trained healthy lifestyle facilitators (HLFs), in group or individual formats, in 10 sessions (plus an introductory session) over one year, or usual care. Randomisation will be conducted by King's College London Clinical Trials Unit and researchers collecting outcome data will be blinded to treatment allocation. At 12-month and 24-month follow-up assessments, primary outcomes will be change in weight and physical activity (average steps per day). Secondary outcomes include changes in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and CVD risk score. Incidence of CVD events since baseline will be recorded. A process evaluation will be conducted to evaluate factors which impact on delivery, adherence and outcome. An economic evaluation will estimate relative cost-effectiveness of each type of intervention delivery. This RCT assesses the effectiveness of a healthy lifestyle intervention for people at high risk of CVD. Benefits of the study include the ethnic and socioeconomic diversity of the study population and that, via social support within the group setting and long-term follow-up period, the intervention offers the potential to support maintenance of a healthy lifestyle. This trial is registered with the ISRCTN registry (identifier: ISRCTN84864870, registered 15 May 2012).


Nutrition education worksite intervention for university staff: application of the health belief model.

Doris Abood, David Black, Diane Feral

Journal of nutrition education and behavior [35:260-7] ()

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To evaluate the efficacy of an 8-week worksite nutrition education intervention for university staff using the Health Belief Model (HBM) to promote healthful dietary behaviors that reduce risks for cardiovascular disease and cancer. 2 3 2 repeated measures baseline/posttest ex post facto research design. Staff employees were randomly assigned to treatment (n = 28) and control groups (n = 25). The intervention focused on specific health beliefs, nutrition knowledge, and dietary practices to demonstrate treatment effect. Dependent variables were specific health beliefs, nutrition knowledge, and dietary behaviors. Independent variables were demographic characteristics and group assignment. Tests of parametric assumptions, power analyses, analysis of variance, and Kuder-Richardson and Pearson product-moment coefficients were computed and specificity of treatment effects was assessed. Perceived benefits of healthy nutrition practices and nutrition knowledge related to cardiovascular disease and cancer significantly improved among the treatment participants, P <.001. Treatment group participants also significantly reduced total calories, fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol intake (each P <.001). The intervention appears to be related to treatment effects and significantly increased nutrition knowledge and decreased energy, fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol intake to levels consistent with national recommendations.


RCT of a theory-based intervention promoting healthy eating and physical activity amongst out-patients older than 65 years.

K Kelley, C Abraham

Social science & medicine (1982) [59:787-97] (2004)

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A randomised controlled trial was used to evaluate a theory-based health promotion intervention. The intervention, a healthy living booklet, was designed to promote healthy eating and physical activity amongst people aged over 65 years attending hospital out-patient clinics. The booklet employed persuasive arguments targeting the most proximal cognitive antecedents of behaviour specified by the theory of planned behaviour, as well as goal setting prompts. Participants (N = 252, average age=82) were randomly allocated to a control (patient satisfaction questionnaire) or intervention (healthy living booklet) group. Cognitions and behaviour were measured pre-intervention and at a two week follow up. The intervention group made significantly higher gains in perceived behavioural control, intention and behaviour for both target behaviours, suggesting that the intervention was successful. Sixty three of those invited to set goals to eat more healthily (e.g., "to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day") did so, and 67% of those who set such goals reported 100% success in acting on them. By contrast, only 34% of intervention participants set an activity goal (e.g., "a five minute walk everyday"), and only 51% reported 100% success in enacting these goals. Results suggest that the observed behavioural effects of the healthy eating booklet could be attributed to goal setting as well as changes in perceived behavioural control and intention.


Promoting fruit and vegetable consumption. Testing an intervention based on the theory of planned behaviour.

E Kothe, B Mullan, P Butow

Appetite [58:997-1004] (2012)

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This study evaluated the efficacy of a theory of planned behaviour (TPB) based intervention to increase fruit and vegetable consumption. The extent to which fruit and vegetable consumption and change in intake could be explained by the TPB was also examined. Participants were randomly assigned to two levels of intervention frequency matched for intervention content (low frequency n=92, high frequency n=102). Participants received TPB-based email messages designed to increase fruit and vegetable consumption, messages targeted attitude, subjective norm and perceived behavioural control (PBC). Baseline and post-intervention measures of TPB variables and behaviour were collected. Across the entire study cohort, fruit and vegetable consumption increased by 0.83 servings/day between baseline and follow-up. Intention, attitude, subjective norm and PBC also increased (p<.05). The TPB successfully modelled fruit and vegetable consumption at both time points but not behaviour change. The increase of fruit and vegetable consumption is a promising preliminary finding for those primarily interested in increasing fruit and vegetable consumption. However, those interested in theory development may have concerns about the use of this model to explain behaviour change in this context. More high quality experimental tests of the theory are needed to confirm this result.


Correlational study and randomised controlled trial for understanding and changing red meat consumption: The role of eating identities.

V Carfora, D Caso, M Conner

Social science & medicine (1982) [175:244-252] (2017)

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The present studies aimed to contribute to the literature on psychological variables involved in reducing red meat consumption (RMC). Study 1 investigated whether the theory of planned behaviour (TPB), plus healthy-eating and meat-eating identities, could explain intentions to reduce RMC. Study 2 evaluated the effectiveness of an SMS text message intervention on self-monitoring to reduce RMC. In Study 1, data were collected daily using online food diaries for one week and a TPB questionnaire. Study 2 was a randomised controlled trial assessing pre- and post-RMC and TPB constructs by online food diaries and questionnaires over a one-week period. Participants were Italian undergraduates in each study (Study 1: N = 405; Study 2: N = 244). In Study 2, participants were randomly allocated to control and message condition groups. Participants in the message condition group received a daily SMS, which reminded them to monitor RMC, while participants in the control group did not receive any message. Only students who completed all measures were considered in the analyses (Study 1: N = 342; Study 2: N = 228). Study 1 showed that affective and instrumental attitudes, perceived behavioural control, and meat-eating identity explained intentions to reduce RMC, while subjective norm, past behaviour, and healthy-eating identity did not. Study 2 showed that an SMS intervention was effective in increasing intentions and reducing RMC. Mediation analyses indicated partial serial mediation through healthy-eating and meat-eating identities and intentions. The present studies provide support for the predictive validity of TPB in explaining intentions to reduce RMC and for the efficacy of an SMS intervention targeting self-monitoring in reducing RMC. Findings confirmed the important role of eating identities in explaining intentions to reduce RMC and in changing this behaviour.


Targeting Parents for Childhood Weight Management: Development of a Theory-Driven and User-Centered Healthy Eating App.

Kristina Curtis, Sudakshina Lahiri, Katherine Brown

JMIR mHealth and uHealth [3:e69] (2015)

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The proliferation of health promotion apps along with mobile phones' array of features supporting health behavior change offers a new and innovative approach to childhood weight management. However, despite the critical role parents play in children's weight related behaviors, few industry-led apps aimed at childhood weight management target parents. Furthermore, industry-led apps have been shown to lack a basis in behavior change theory and evidence. Equally important remains the issue of how to maximize users' engagement with mobile health (mHealth) interventions where there is growing consensus that inputs from the commercial app industry and the target population should be an integral part of the development process. The aim of this study is to systematically design and develop a theory and evidence-driven, user-centered healthy eating app targeting parents for childhood weight management, and clearly document this for the research and app development community. The Behavior Change Wheel (BCW) framework, a theoretically-based approach for intervention development, along with a user-centered design (UCD) philosophy and collaboration with the commercial app industry, guided the development process. Current evidence, along with a series of 9 focus groups (total of 46 participants) comprised of family weight management case workers, parents with overweight and healthy weight children aged 5-11 years, and consultation with experts, provided data to inform the app development. Thematic analysis of focus groups helped to extract information related to relevant theoretical, user-centered, and technological components to underpin the design and development of the app. Inputs from parents and experts working in the area of childhood weight management helped to identify the main target behavior: to help parents provide appropriate food portion sizes for their children. To achieve this target behavior, the behavioral diagnosis revealed the need for eliciting change in parents' capability, motivation, and opportunity in 10-associated Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF) domains. Of the 9 possible intervention functions, 6 were selected to bring about this change which guided the selection of 21 behavior change techniques. Parents' preferences for healthy eating app features revolved around four main themes (app features, time saving and convenience, aesthetics, and gamification) whereupon a criterion was applied to guide the selection on which preferences should be integrated into the design of the app. Collaboration with the app company helped to build on users' preferences for elements of gamification such as points, quizzes, and levels to optimize user engagement. Feedback from parents on interactive mock-ups helped to inform the final development of the prototype app. Here, we fully explicate a systematic approach applied in the development of a family-oriented, healthy eating health promotion app grounded in theory and evidence, and balanced with users' preferences to help maximize its engagement with the target population.


Why did soft drink consumption decrease but screen time not? Mediating mechanisms in a school-based obesity prevention program.

AP Chin, JM Marijke, AS Singh, J Brug, W van Mechelen

The international journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity [5:41] (2008)

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This paper aims to identify the mediating mechanisms of a school-based obesity prevention program (DOiT). The DOiT-program was implemented in Dutch prevocational secondary schools and evaluated using a controlled, cluster-randomised trial (September 2003 to May 2004). We examined mediators of effects regarding (1) consumption of sugar containing beverages (SCB); (2) consumption of high caloric snacks; (3) screen-viewing behaviour; and (4) active commuting to school. To improve these behaviours the DOiT-program tried to influence the following potentially mediating variables: attitude, subjective norm, perceived behavioural control, and habit-strength. Both in boys (n = 418) and girls (n = 436) the DOiT-intervention reduced SCB consumption (between group difference in boys = -303.5 ml/day, 95% CI: -502.4;-104.5, between group difference in girls = -222.3 ml/day, 95% CI: -371.3;-73.2). The intervention did not affect the other examined behaviours. In girls, no intervention effect on hypothetical mediators was found nor evidence of any mediating mechanisms. Boys in intervention schools improved their attitude towards decreasing SCB consumption, while this behaviour became less of a habit. Indeed, attitude and habit strength were significant mediators of the DOiT-intervention's effect (4.5 and 3.8%, respectively) on SCB consumption among boys. Our findings imply that interventions aimed at EBRB-change should be gender-specific. Future studies aimed at reducing SCB consumption among boys should target attitude and habit strength as mediating mechanisms. Our study did not resolve the mediating mechanisms in girls. International Standard Randomised Controlled Trial Number Register ISRCTN87127361.


The feasibility phase of a community antenatal lifestyle programme [The Lifestyle Course (TLC)] for women with a body mass index (BMI)≥ 30 kg/m(2.).

Debbie Smith, Wendy Taylor, Melissa Whitworth, Stephen Roberts, Colin Sibley, Tina Lavender

Midwifery [31:280-7] (2015)

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maternal obesity [body mass index (BMI)≥30kg/m(2)] is a cause for concern because of increasing rates and risk of associated complications. However, little is known about how to improve the health of women with a BMI≥30kg/m(2). a 10-week antenatal lifestyle programme (The Lifestyle Course - TLC), underpinned by behaviour change theory, was developed in a programme of research which included a prospective, multicentred, feasibility phase (n=227). Participants had a BMI≥30kg/m(2) at the start of their pregnancy, planned to deliver in two areas of Greater Manchester and were aged 18 or over. The objectives were to (1) assess the feasibility of the intervention and (2) to pilot the trial processes and outcome measures. (1) Trial intervention: only 22% of women in the feasibility phase had received gestational weight advice prior to the study. One or more TLC sessions were attended by 79% of women and 97% said they would recommend TLC to a friend due to the content suitability, perceived personal gains and extra care received. Changes to the TLC were suggested and implemented in the pilot phase. (2) Trial processes: recruitment rates (36%), retention rates (100%) and questionnaire completion rates up to one year (33%) were found. Daily general 'lifestyle' diaries and pedometers were not acceptable data collection tools (response rates of 32% and 16% respectively). However, specific food diaries were acceptable (response rates of 80-81%). The major challenge was the collection of maternal weight data at the follow-up points. the antenatal intervention (TLC) designed for this programme of work appears to suit the needs of women with a BMI≥30kg/m(2). The need for an antenatal intervention is clear from this study and also highlights reflections on effective communication with pregnant women with a BMI≥30kg/m(2). Lessons learnt for designing a future trial include effective ways to communicate with pregnant women with a BMI≥30kg/m(2). ISRCTN29860479.


A randomised controlled trial and mediation analysis of the 'Healthy Habits', telephone-based dietary intervention for preschool children.

Amanda Fletcher, Luke Wolfenden, Rebecca Wyse, Jenny Bowman, Patrick McElduff, Sarah Duncan

The international journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity [10:43] (2013)

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Consumption of non-core foods in childhood is associated with excessive weight gain in childhood. Parents play a vital role in establishing healthy diet behaviours in young children. The aim of this study was to assess the effectiveness of a telephone-based intervention in reducing child consumption of non-core foods, and to examine parent and home food environment mediators of change in child consumption. The 'Healthy Habits' trial utilised a clustered randomised controlled design. Parents were recruited from 30 preschools (N=394 participants, mean age 35.2±5.6 years). Parents randomized to the intervention group received four telephone contacts and print materials. Parents allocated to the control condition receive generic print materials only. Non-core food consumption was assessed using a validated child dietary questionnaire at baseline, 2 and 6 months post recruitment in 2010. The intervention was effective in reducing child consumption of non-core foods at 2 months (intention to treat analysis: z=-2.83, p<.01), however this effect was not maintained at 6 months. Structural equation modelling using 2 month data indicated that child access to non-core foods in the home and child feeding strategies mediated the effect of the intervention. The telephone-based intervention shows promise in improving short term dietary behaviour in preschool age children, however further development is needed to sustain the effect in the long-term. Australian Clinical Trials Registry: ACTRN12609000820202.


Randomised controlled trial of a text messaging intervention for reducing processed meat consumption: The mediating roles of anticipated regret and intention.

V Carfora, D Caso, M Conner

Appetite [117:152-160] (2017)

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The present study aimed to extend the literature on text messaging interventions involved in promoting healthy eating behaviours. The theoretical framework was the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB). A randomized controlled trial was used to test the impact of daily text messages compared to no message (groups) for reducing processed meat consumption (PMC) over a 2 week period, testing the sequential mediation role of anticipated regret and intention on the relationship between groups and PMC reduction. PMC and TPB variables were assessed both at Time 1 and Time 2. Participants were Italian undergraduates (at Time 1 N = 124) randomly allocated to control and message condition groups. Undergraduates in the message condition group received a daily SMS, which focused on anticipated regret and urged them to self-monitor PMC. Participants in the control group did not receive any message. Those who completed all measures at both time points were included in the analyses (N = 112). Findings showed that a daily messaging intervention, controlling for participants' past behaviour, reduced self-reported consumption of PMC. Mediation analyses indicated partial serial mediation via anticipated regret and intentions. The current study provided support for the efficacy of a daily messaging intervention targeting anticipated regret and encouraging self-monitoring in decreasing PMC. Outcomes showed the important mediating role of anticipated regret and intentions for reducing PMC.


Diet Behavior Change Techniques in Type 2 Diabetes: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.

Kevin Cradock, Gearóid ÓLaighin, Francis Finucane, Rhyann McKay, Leo Quinlan, Kathleen A Martin Ginis, Heather Gainforth

Diabetes care [40:1800-1810] (2017)

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Dietary behavior is closely connected to type 2 diabetes. The purpose of this meta-analysis was to identify behavior change techniques (BCTs) and specific components of dietary interventions for patients with type 2 diabetes associated with changes in HbA and body weight. The Cochrane Library, CINAHL, Embase, PubMed, PsycINFO, and Scopus databases were searched. Reports of randomized controlled trials published during 1975-2017 that focused on changing dietary behavior were selected, and methodological rigor, use of BCTs, and fidelity and intervention features were evaluated. In total, 54 studies were included, with 42 different BCTs applied and an average of 7 BCTs used per study. Four BCTs-"problem solving," "feedback on behavior," "adding objects to the environment," and "social comparison"-and the intervention feature "use of theory" were associated with >0.3% (3.3 mmol/mol) reduction in HbA. Meta-analysis revealed that studies that aimed to control or change the environment showed a greater reduction in HbA of 0.5% (5.5 mmol/mol) (95% CI -0.65, -0.34), compared with 0.32% (3.5 mmol/mol) (95% CI -0.40, -0.23) for studies that aimed to change behavior. Limitations of our study were the heterogeneity of dietary interventions and poor quality of reporting of BCTs. This study provides evidence that changing the dietary environment may have more of an effect on HbA in adults with type 2 diabetes than changing dietary behavior. Diet interventions achieved clinically significant reductions in HbA, although initial reductions in body weight diminished over time. If appropriate BCTs and theory are applied, dietary interventions may result in better glucose control.


Obesity reduction black intervention trial (ORBIT): six-month results.

Melinda Stolley, Marian Fitzgibbon, Linda Schiffer, Lisa Sharp, Vicky Singh, Linda Van Horn, Alan Dyer

Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.) [17:100-6] (2009)

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The Obesity Reduction Black Intervention Trial (ORBIT) is a randomized controlled trial designed to assess the efficacy of a culturally proficient 6-month weight loss intervention followed by a 1-year maintenance intervention. This article describes the results of the 6-month weight loss intervention. Two hundred thirteen obese black women aged 30-65 years were randomized to the intervention group or a general health control group. The intervention consisted of a 6-month culturally adapted weight loss program that targeted changes in diet and physical activity patterns. Weight, dietary intake, and physical activity were measured at baseline and 6 months. A total of 198 women (93%) completed both the baseline and postintervention assessments. Women in the intervention group lost significantly more weight than women in the control group (P < 0.001). However, weight change was variable within the intervention group, with a maximum weight loss of 19.4% of initial body weight and a maximum weight gain of 6.4% of initial body weight. Women in the intervention group also showed significant improvements in fruit intake (P < 0.01), Healthy Eating Index score (P < 0.001), and moderate (P = 0.05), and vigorous (P < 0.001) physical activity compared to women in the control group. This study demonstrates that a culturally adapted program can successfully promote weight loss in obese black women. However, average weight loss was relatively modest, and weight change varied widely within the intervention group. Further research is needed in order to develop programs that will allow more black women to achieve their weight loss goals..


Augmenting fruit and vegetable consumption by an online intervention: Psychological mechanisms.

Jan Keller, Susannah Motter, Mirjam Motter, Ralf Schwarzer

Appetite [120:348-355] (2018)

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Fruit and vegetable (FV) intake was examined among men and women who participated in an online intervention. The psychological constructs involved were outcome expectancies, behavioral intention, planning, and self-efficacy. One purpose of the analyses was the evaluation of a self-efficacy treatment component. The other purpose of the analyses regarded the role of psychological mechanisms that might be responsible for individual differences in the process of behavior change. A two-arm online intervention with a standard and an enhanced intervention group focusing on FV planning was conducted to improve FV intake, followed up at two and four weeks. The intervention groups differed by the additional inclusion of a self-efficacy ingredient in the enhanced intervention. Linear mixed models examined the intervention effects, and a longitudinal structural equation model explored which psychological constructs were associated with changes in FV intake. Participants were N = 275 adults of whom n = 148 completed the four-week follow-up. Their age range was 18-81 years (Mage = 32.50, SDage = 14.00). Analyses yielded an overall increase in self-reported FV intake. Moreover, a triple interaction between time, sex, and experimental groups on self-efficacy emerged, indicating that men, independent of treatment conditions, reported an increase in their confidence to improve FV intake, whereas women developed higher FV self-efficacy when being in the enhanced group instead of the standard group. Planning, self-efficacy, and intention mediated between outcome expectancies, and follow-up FV intake. Both intervention arms produced overall improvements in FV intake. The enhanced intervention resulted in a steeper increase in self-efficacy in women compared to men, and compared to the standard intervention. A psychological mechanism transpired that included a sequence leading from initial outcome expectancies via planning, self-efficacy, and intention towards FV intake.


The impact of an innovative web-based school nutrition intervention to increase fruits and vegetables and milk and alternatives in adolescents: a clustered randomized trial.

Karine Chamberland, Marina Sanchez, Shirin Panahi, Véronique Provencher, Jocelyn Gagnon, Vicky Drapeau

The international journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity [14:140] (2017)

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The increase in overweight and obesity in adolescents and its health-related consequences highlight the need to develop strategies, which could help them adopt healthy eating habits. The objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of an innovative web-based school nutrition intervention (Team Nutriathlon) aimed at promoting the consumption of vegetables and fruit (V/F) and milk and alternatives (M/A) in high school students and to identify facilitators and/or barriers influencing its success. Ten classes of first and second year secondary students (grades 7 and 8) from the Québec City region were randomized into two groups (control n = 89 and intervention n = 193). Participants in the intervention (Team Nutriathlon) were to increase their consumption of V/F and M/A using an innovative web-based platform, developed for this study, over 6 weeks. The control group followed the regular school curriculum. The number of servings of V/F and M/A consumed by students per day was compared between the two groups before, during, immediately after and 10 weeks after the intervention using a web-based platform. Main outcome measures included V/F and M/A servings and facilitators and/or barriers of program success. Repeated measures linear fixed effects models were used to assess the impact of Team Nutriathlon on V/F and M/A consumption. A P-value of <0.05 was considered significant. Students in the intervention reported a significant increase of 3 servings and 1.8 servings per day of V/F and M/A, respectively, compared to the control group (P < 0.05); however, this was only observed in the short-term. Some factors contributing to the success of Team Nutriathlon included the team aspect of the program, use of the technology and recording results outside of classroom hours. Team Nutriathlon represents an innovative web-based nutrition program which positively impacts V/F and M/A consumption among high school students. Using web-based or technological platforms may help youth adopt healthy eating habits that will have implications later in adulthood; however, further studies are needed to determine their long-term effects. NCT03117374 (retrospectively registered).


Effects of a social cognitive theory-based hip fracture prevention web site for older adults.

Eun-Shim Nahm, Bausell Barker, Barbara Resnick, Barbara Covington, Jay Magaziner, Patricia Brennan

Computers, informatics, nursing : CIN [28:371-9] ()

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The purposes of this study were to develop a Social Cognitive Theory-based, structured Hip Fracture Prevention Web site for older adults and conduct a preliminary evaluation of its effectiveness. The Theory-based, structured Hip Fracture Prevention Web site is composed of learning modules and a moderated discussion board. A total of 245 older adults recruited from two Web sites and a newspaper advertisement were randomized into the Theory-based, structured Hip Fracture Prevention Web site and the conventional Web sites groups. Outcomes included (1) knowledge (hip fractures and osteoporosis), (2) self-efficacy and outcome expectations, and (3) calcium intake and exercise and were assessed at baseline, end of treatment (2 weeks), and follow-up (3 months). Both groups showed significant improvement in most outcomes. For calcium intake, only the Theory-based, structured Hip Fracture Prevention Web site group showed improvement. None of the group and time interactions were significant. The Theory-based, structured Hip Fracture Prevention Web site group, however, was more satisfied with the intervention. The discussion board usage was significantly correlated with outcome gains. Despite several limitations, the findings showed some preliminary effectiveness of Web-based health interventions for older adults and the use of a Theory-based, structured Hip Fracture Prevention Web site as a sustainable Web structure for online health behavior change interventions.


Long-term efficacy of a Web-based computer-tailored nutrition education intervention for adults including cognitive and environmental feedback: a randomized controlled trial.

Linda Springvloet, Lilian Lechner, Hein De Vries, Anke Oenema

BMC public health [15:372] (2015)

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Unhealthy diets are prevalent in Western countries, especially among low-educated people. To have an effect on health, it is important that dietary changes are sustained over time. This study examines long-term effects of a cognitive and environmental-feedback version of a Web-based computer-tailored (CT) nutrition education intervention targeting fruit, vegetables, high-energy snacks and saturated fat. A randomized controlled trial was conducted with a basic (tailored intervention targeting individual cognitions and self-regulation processes; n = 456), plus (additionally targeting environmental-level factors; n = 459) and control group (generic nutrition information; n = 434). Participants were recruited from the general population and randomly assigned to a study group. Online self-reported questionnaires assessed fruit, vegetable, high-energy snack and saturated fat intake, self-regulation, self-control, and Body Mass Index (BMI) at baseline and nine-months post-intervention. Linear mixed model analyses examined group differences in change over time. Educational differences were examined by 'group X time X education' interaction terms. Effects were examined in the total sample and among participants who did not comply with dietary- or BMI guidelines. The effects on vegetable intake in the total sample differed according to educational level (p = 02). Among low/moderate-educated participants, the basic version was significantly more effective in increasing vegetable intake than the control program (effect size (ES) = 0.32) and plus version (ES = 0.22). No effects were found for high-educated participants. Self-regulation change was significantly larger in the control group than in the basic (ES = 0.18) and plus (ES = 0.16) group. In general, both intervention versions did not result in long-term intervention effects. The exception was an effect of the basic version on self-reported vegetable intake among low/moderate-educated adults in the total sample. More research is needed on how targeting self-regulation processes and environmental-level factors in Web-based CT nutrition education interventions can increase long-term efficacy. Netherlands Trial Registry NTR3396 .


Using aversive images to enhance healthy food choices and implicit attitudes: An experimental test of evaluative conditioning.

Gareth Hollands, Andrew Prestwich, Theresa Marteau

Health psychology : official journal of the Division of Health Psychology, American Psychological Association [30:195-203] (2011)

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To examine the effect of communicating images of energy-dense snack foods paired with aversive images of the potential health consequences of unhealthy eating, on implicit and explicit attitudes and food choice behavior. Participants were randomly allocated to either an evaluative conditioning (EC) procedure that paired images of snack foods with images of potential adverse health consequences or a control condition that featured images of snack foods alone. Implicit attitudes were assessed pre- and post-intervention. Explicit attitudes and food choice behavior were assessed post-intervention. The conditioning intervention made implicit attitudes toward energy-dense snacks more negative, with this effect greatest in those with relatively more favorable implicit attitudes toward these snacks at baseline. Participants in the conditioning intervention were more likely to choose fruit rather than snacks in a behavioral choice task, a relationship mediated by changes in implicit attitudes. Presenting aversive images of potential health consequences with those of specific foodstuffs can change implicit attitudes, which impacts on subsequent food choice behavior.


Mechanisms of change of a novel weight loss programme provided by a third sector organisation: a qualitative interview study.

Naoimh McMahon, Shelina Visram, Louise Connell

BMC public health [16:378] (2016)

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There is a need for theory-driven studies that explore the underlying mechanisms of change of complex weight loss programmes. Such studies will contribute to the existing evidence-base on how these programmes work and thus inform the future development and evaluation of tailored, effective interventions to tackle overweight and obesity. This study explored the mechanisms by which a novel weight loss programme triggered change amongst participants. The programme, delivered by a third sector organisation, addressed both diet and physical activity. Over a 26 week period participants engaged in three weekly sessions (education and exercise in a large group, exercise in a small group and a one-to-one education and exercise session). Novel aspects included the intensity and duration of the programme, a competitive selection process, milestone physical challenges (e.g. working up to a 5 K and 10 K walk/run during the programme), alumni support (face-to-face and online) and family attendance at exercise sessions. Data were collected through interviews with programme providers (n = 2) and focus groups with participants (n = 12). Discussions were audio-recorded, transcribed and analysed using NVivo10. Published behaviour change frameworks and behaviour change technique taxonomies were used to guide the coding process. Clients' interactions with components of the weight loss programme brought about a change in their commitment, knowledge, beliefs about capabilities and social and environmental contexts. Intervention components that generated these changes included the competitive selection process, group and online support, family involvement and overcoming milestone challenges over the 26 week programme. The mechanisms by which these components triggered change differed between participants. There is an urgent need to establish robust interventions that can support people who are overweight and obese to achieve a healthy weight and maintain this change. Third sector organisations may be a feasible alternative to private and public sector weight loss programmes. We have presented findings from one example of a novel community-based weight loss programme and identified how the programme components resulted in change amongst the participants. Further research is needed to robustly test the effectiveness, and cost-effectiveness, of this programme.


Planning and self-efficacy interventions encouraging replacing energy-dense foods intake with fruit and vegetable: A longitudinal experimental study.

Aleksandra Luszczynska, Karolina Horodyska, Karolina Zarychta, Natalia Liszewska, Nina Knoll, Urte Scholz

Psychology & health [31:40-64] (2016)

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This longitudinal experimental study compared effects of self-efficacy, planning and education-based conditions, encouraging adolescents to eat fruit and vegetable in place of energy-dense foods. Data were collected among 506 adolescents (13-18 years old) who were randomly assigned to control (n = 181), planning (n = 153) or self-efficacy (n = 172) conditions. Measurements were taken at baseline (T1), at a 2-month follow-up (T2), and at a 14-month follow-up (T3). Interventions/control group procedures were delivered at T1 and T2. Self-reports of fruit and vegetable intake (FVI) and energy-dense foods intake were collected at three times. Cognitive mediators (self-efficacy and planning) were assessed at T1 and T2. Body weight and height were objectively measured at T1 and T3. Similar significant increases of FVI were found for planning and self-efficacy interventions (T3). The planning intervention did not influence energy-dense food intake (T3), but the self-efficacy intervention tended to result in stabilising intake (compared to an increase found in the control group). There were no effects on body weight. Similar patterns were found for the total sample and for a subsample of adolescents with overweight/obesity. The effects of interventions on FVI were mediated by respective cognitions.


Brief fruit and vegetable messages integrated within a community physical activity program successfully change behaviour.

Shawna Doerksen, Paul Estabrooks

The international journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity [4:12] (2007)

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Consumption of the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables is associated with several health benefits. Currently less than 25% of the American population meets the minimum recommendation of five servings a day. In order to change this health behaviour, interventions should be based on theory and include community-wide social support. A low intensity intervention was developed in which participants (n = 86) were randomly assigned to either the fruit and vegetable intervention (FVI) or standard control condition. The intervention was integrated into an ongoing community physical activity program and study participants were drawn from the sample of community members enrolled in the program. The FVI consisted of brief social cognitive theory-based messages delivered in nine weekly newsletters designed to improve participant outcome and self-efficacy expectations related to fruit and vegetable consumption. Participants in the FVI condition increased in their fruit and vegetable consumption by approximately one to one and one-third servings per day. The control condition showed no change in consumption. The effect of the intervention was enhanced when examined by the extent to which it was adopted by participants (i.e., the number of newsletters read). Those participants who read seven or more newsletters showed an increase of two servings per day. This intervention was effective at improving fruit and vegetable consumption among adults. Minimal interventions, such as newsletters, have the ability to reach large audiences and can be integrated into ongoing health promotion programs. As such, they have potential for a strong public health impact.


Short-term efficacy of a web-based computer-tailored nutrition intervention: main effects and mediators.

A Oenema, F Tan, J Brug

Annals of behavioral medicine : a publication of the Society of Behavioral Medicine [29:54-63] (2005)

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This study evaluates the short-term efficacy and respondents' evaluations of a Web-based computer-tailored nutrition intervention, aiming to decrease saturated fat intake and increase fruit and vegetable intake. Perceived personal relevance, individualization, and interestingness of the information were tested as mediators of the effects of the tailored intervention. The objective was to study the short-term effects of a Web-based computer-tailored nutrition intervention. Respondents (N = 782) were randomly assigned to a tailored intervention group, a generic nutrition information control group, or a no-information control group. Fat, fruit, and vegetable intakes and behavioral determinants were measured at baseline and at 3 weeks postintervention. Posttest group differences were determined by multiple linear regression analyses. The computer-tailored intervention produced significant effects for the determinants of fat, fruit, and vegetable intake and for vegetable and fruit intake. The tailored information was rated as more personally relevant, individualized, interesting, and new than the generic nutrition information. Perceived personal relevance, individualization, and interestingness were identified as mediators of some of the tailoring effects. The findings of this study indicate that Web-based, computer-tailored nutrition information can have a short-term effect on the determinants of fat, fruit, and vegetable intake. The effect of the tailored information may be partly explained by the perceived personal relevance and individualization of the information.


Can existing mobile apps support healthier food purchasing behaviour? Content analysis of nutrition content, behaviour change theory and user quality integration.

Sarah-Jane Flaherty, Mary McCarthy, Alan Collins, Fionnuala McAuliffe

Public health nutrition [21:288-298] (2018)

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To assess the quality of nutrition content and the integration of user quality components and behaviour change theory relevant to food purchasing behaviour in a sample of existing mobile apps. Descriptive comparative analysis of eleven mobile apps comprising an assessment of their alignment with existing evidence on nutrition, behaviour change and user quality, and their potential ability to support healthier food purchasing behaviour. Mobile apps freely available for public use in GoogePlay were assessed and scored according to agreed criteria to assess nutrition content quality and integration of behaviour change theory and user quality components. A sample of eleven mobile apps that met predefined inclusion criteria to ensure relevance and good quality. The quality of the nutrition content varied. Improvements to the accuracy and appropriateness of nutrition content are needed to ensure mobile apps support a healthy behaviour change process and are accessible to a wider population. There appears to be a narrow focus towards behaviour change with an overemphasis on behavioural outcomes and a small number of behaviour change techniques, which may limit effectiveness. A significant effort from the user was required to use the mobile apps appropriately which may negatively influence user acceptability and subsequent utilisation. Existing mobile apps may offer a potentially effective approach to supporting healthier food purchasing behaviour but improvements in mobile app design are required to maximise their potential effectiveness. Engagement of mobile app users and nutrition professionals is recommended to support effective design.


Increasing intention to cook from basic ingredients: A randomised controlled study.

Fiona Lavelle, Lynsey Hollywood, Martin Caraher, Laura McGowan, Michelle Spence, Dawn Surgenor, Amanda McCloat, Elaine Mooney, Monique Raats, Moira Dean

Appetite [116:502-510] (2017)

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The promotion of home cooking is a strategy used to improve diet quality and health. However, modern home cooking typically includes the use of processed food which can lead to negative outcomes including weight gain. In addition, interventions to improve cooking skills do not always explain how theory informed their design and implementation. The Behaviour Change Technique (BCT) taxonomy successfully employed in other areas has identified essential elements for interventions. This study investigated the effectiveness of different instructional modes for learning to cook a meal, designed using an accumulating number of BCTs, on participant's perceived difficulty, enjoyment, confidence and intention to cook from basic ingredients. 141 mothers aged between 20 and 39 years from the island of Ireland were randomised to one of four conditions based on BCTs (1) recipe card only [control condition]; (2) recipe card plus video modelling; (3) recipe card plus video prompting; (4) recipe card plus video elements. Participants rated their enjoyment, perceived difficulty, confidence and intention to cook again pre, mid and post experiment. Repeated one-way factorial ANOVAs, correlations and a hierarchical regression model were conducted. Despite no significant differences between the different conditions, there was a significant increase in enjoyment (P < 0.001), confidence (P < 0.001) and intention to cook from basics again (P < 0.001) and a decrease in perceived difficulty (P = 0.001) after the experiment in all conditions. Intention to cook from basics pre-experiment, and confidence and enjoyment (both pre and post experiment) significantly contributed to the final regression model explaining 42% of the variance in intention to cook from basics again. Cooking interventions should focus on practical cooking and increasing participants' enjoyment and confidence during cooking to increase intention to cook from basic ingredients at home.


Pounds Off Digitally study: a randomized podcasting weight-loss intervention.

Gabrielle Turner-McGrievy, Marci Campbell, Deborah Tate, Kimberly Truesdale, J Michael Bowling, Lelia Crosby

American journal of preventive medicine [37:263-9] (2009)

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As obesity rates rise, new weight-loss methods are needed. Little is known about the use of podcasting (audio files for a portable music player or computer) to promote weight loss, despite its growing popularity. A 12-week RCT was conducted. The study sample comprised overweight men and women (BMI=25-40 kg/m(2); n=78) in the Raleigh-Durham NC area. In 2008, participants were randomly assigned to receive 24 episodes of a currently available weight-loss podcast (control podcast) or a weight-loss podcast based on social cognitive theory (SCT) designed by the researchers (enhanced podcast) for 12 weeks. Weight was measured on a digital scale at baseline and follow-up. Both groups also completed questionnaires assessing demographic information, food intake, physical activity, and SCT constructs at the introductory and 12-week meetings. Additional questionnaires at the 12-week meeting assessed perceptions of the intervention. Data collection and analysis occurred in 2008 and intention-to-treat was used. Enhanced group participants (n=41) had a greater decrease in weight (-2.9+/-3.5 kg enhanced group vs -0.3+/-2.1 control group; p<0.001 between groups) and BMI (-1.0+/-1.2 kg/m(2) enhanced group vs -0.1+/-0.7 kg/m(2) control group; p<0.001 between groups) than the control group (n=37) and had greater weight-loss-related knowledge (p<0.05), elaboration (p<0.001), and user control (p<0.001) and less cognitive load (p<0.001). The results of this study suggest that the use of behavioral, theory-based podcasting may be an effective way to promote weight loss. NCT00771095.


How can self-efficacy be increased? Meta-analysis of dietary interventions.

Andrew Prestwich, Ian Kellar, Richard Parker, Siobhan MacRae, Matthew Learmonth, Bianca Sykes, Natalie Taylor, Holly Castle

Health psychology review [8:270-85] (2014)

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Targeting individuals' beliefs that they are able to eat healthily can improve dietary-related behaviours. However, the most effective behaviour change techniques (BCTs) to promote dietary self-efficacy have not been systematically reviewed. This research addressed this gap. Studies testing the effect of interventions on healthy eating and underlying dietary-related self-efficacy, within randomised controlled trials, were systematically reviewed in MEDLINE, EMBASE and PSYCINFO. Two reviewers independently coded intervention content in both intervention and comparison groups. Data pertaining to study quality were also extracted. Random effects meta-analysis was used to calculate an overall effect size on dietary self-efficacy for each study. The associations between 26 BCTs and self-efficacy effects were calculated using meta-regression. In some of the analyses, interventions that incorporated self-monitoring (tracking one's own food-related behaviour), provided feedback on performance, prompted review of behavioural goals, provided contingent rewards (rewarding diet success), or planned for social support/social change increased dietary self-efficacy significantly more than interventions that did not. Stress management was consistently associated with self-efficacy effects across all analyses. There was strong evidence for stress management and weaker evidence for a number of other BCTs. The findings can be used to develop more effective, theory- and evidence-based behavioural interventions.


A brief intervention increases fruit and vegetable intake. A comparison of two intervention sequences.

Pempa Lhakhang, Cristina Godinho, Nina Knoll, Ralf Schwarzer

Appetite [82:103-10] (2014)

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To evaluate the effectiveness of two subsequent intervention components (motivational and self-regulatory components), placed in different order, to promote fruit and vegetable (FV) intake. After baseline assessment, university students (N=205, aged 18-26 years) were allocated to two groups. One group received a motivational intervention (outcome expectancies, risk perception, and task self-efficacy) followed by a self-regulatory intervention (planning and dietary self-efficacy) after 17 days. The second group received the same intervention conditions in the opposite order. Follow-up assessments were done after another 17 days. Both intervention sequences yielded gains in terms of FV intake and self-efficacy. However, this gain was only due to the self-regulatory component whereas the motivational component did not contribute to the changes. Moreover, changes in intention and self-efficacy mediated between intervention sequence and follow-up behavior, suggesting that improving these proximal predictors of FV intake was responsible for the behavioral gains. Findings highlight the superiority of a self-regulatory intervention over a motivational intervention when it comes to dietary changes in this sample of young adults. Moreover, changes in dietary self-efficacy may drive nutritional changes.


Evaluating a small change approach to preventing long term weight gain in overweight and obese adults--Study rationale, design, and methods.

Robert Ross, James Hill, Amy Latimer, Andrew Day

Contemporary clinical trials [47:275-81] (2016)

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Despite the rapid rise in obesity worldwide, few strategies have been effective in treating this epidemic. An emerging strategy is to focus on preventing excessive weight gain rather than weight reduction. The proposed intervention, small change approach (SCA), is an innovative weight gain prevention strategy in which individuals monitor their usual nutrition and physical activity patterns and then make modest but sustainable alterations through behavioral intervention techniques (self-regulation, goal setting) enough to reduce overall energy balance by 100 to 200 kcal per day (e.g., reduce caloric intake by 100 kcal per day and/or increase daily step count by ~2000 steps (~100 kcal) per day). The primary aim of the trial is to determine whether small changes in energy expenditure and/or energy intake prevent weight gain in overweight and obese men and women long-term. The pre-specified primary and secondary assessments are at 2 and 3 years post-randomization respectively. The primary outcome is change in body weight. Secondary outcomes include body composition variables (adipose tissue distribution and lean mass distribution) and cardiorespiratory fitness (VO2peak). We randomized 320 primarily White (n=305) overweight and obese men and women to one of 2 conditions: 1) usual care (UC), 2) small change approach (SCA). Participant involvement in the study is 3 years; 2 year intervention with a 1 year follow-up. Our study findings will indicate whether there is value in clinicians adopting a SCA to lifestyle counseling for their patients who are overweight and obese.


Iterative development of Vegethon: a theory-based mobile app intervention to increase vegetable consumption.

Sarah Mummah, Abby King, Christopher Gardner, Stephen Sutton

The international journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity [13:90] (2016)

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Mobile technology may serve as a cost-effective and scalable tool for delivering behavioral nutrition interventions. This research sought to iteratively develop a theory-driven mobile app, Vegethon, to increase vegetable consumption. Development of Vegethon followed phases outlined by the IDEAS framework: 1) empathize with users (qualitative interviews, n = 18); 2) specify target behavior; 3) ground in behavioral theory; 4) ideate implementation strategies; 5) prototype potential products; 6) gather user feedback (qualitative interviews, n = 14; questionnaire, n = 41); 7) build minimum viable product; and 8) pilot potential efficacy and usability (pilot RCT, n = 17). Findings from each phase informed subsequent phases. The target population that informed intervention development was 18-50 years of age, had BMIs of 28-40 kg/m(2), and lived in the geographical area surrounding Stanford University. A full description of the final version of Vegethon is included in the paper. Qualitative findings that shaped initial intervention conception were: participants' interests in accountability without judgment; their desire for simple and efficient dietary self-monitoring; and the importance of planning meals in advance. Qualitative findings identified during intervention refinement were the need for a focus on vegetable self-monitoring; inclusion of vegetable challenges; simplification of features; advice and inspiration for eating vegetables; reminder notifications; and peer comparison. Pilot RCT findings suggested the initial efficacy, acceptance, and feasibility of the intervention. The final version of Vegethon enabled easy self-monitoring of vegetable consumption and included a range of features designed to engage the user (e.g., surprise challenges; leaderboard; weekly reports). Vegethon was coded for its inclusion of 18 behavior change techniques (BCTs) (e.g., goal setting; feedback; social comparison; prompts/cues; framing/reframing; identity). Vegethon is a theory-based, user-informed mobile intervention that was systematically developed using the IDEAS framework. Vegethon targets increased vegetable consumption among overweight adults and is currently being evaluated in a randomized controlled efficacy trial. Clinical Trials.gov: NCT01826591.


Design of a Mobile App for Nutrition Education (TreC-LifeStyle) and Formative Evaluation With Families of Overweight Children.

Silvia Gabrielli, Marco Dianti, Rosa Maimone, Marta Betta, Lorena Filippi, Monica Ghezzi, Stefano Forti

JMIR mHealth and uHealth [5:e48] (2017)

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Nutrition and diet apps represent today a popular area of mobile health (mHealth), offering the possibility of delivering behavior change (BC) interventions for healthy eating and weight management in a scalable and cost-effective way. However, if commercial apps for pediatric weight management fail to retain users because of a lack of theoretical background and evidence-based content, mHealth apps that are more evidence-based are found less engaging and popular among consumers. Approaching the apps development process from a multidisciplinary and user-centered design (UCD) perspective is likely to help overcome these limitations, raising the chances for an easier adoption and integration of nutrition education apps within primary care interventions. The aim of this study was to describe the design and development of the TreC-LifeStyle nutrition education app and the results of a formative evaluation with families. The design of the nutrition education intervention was based on a multidisciplinary UCD approach, involving a team of BC experts, working with 2 nutritionists and 3 pediatricians from a primary care center. The app content was derived from evidence-based knowledge founded on the Food Pyramid and Mediterranean Diet guidelines used by pediatricians in primary care. A formative evaluation of the TreC-LifeStyle app involved 6 families of overweight children (aged 7-12 years) self-reporting daily food intake of children for 6 weeks and providing feedback on the user experience with the mHealth intervention. Analysis of the app's usage patterns during the intervention and of participants' feedback informed the refinement of the app design and a tuning of the nutrition education strategies to improve user engagement and compliance with the intervention. Design sessions with the contribution of pediatricians and nutritionists helped define the nutrition education app and intervention, providing an effective human and virtual coaching approach to raise parents' awareness about children's eating behavior and lifestyle. The 6 families participating in the pilot study found the app usable and showed high compliance with the intervention over the 6 weeks, but analysis of their interaction and feedback showed the need for improving some of the app features related to the BC techniques "monitoring of the behavior" and "information provision." The UCD and formative evaluation of TreC-LifeStyle show that nutrition education apps are feasible and acceptable solutions to support health promotion interventions in primary care.


Impact of a male-only weight loss maintenance programme on social-cognitive determinants of physical activity and healthy eating: A randomized controlled trial.

Myles Young, Ronald Plotnikoff, Clare Collins, Robin Callister, Philip Morgan

British journal of health psychology [20:724-44] (2015)

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To examine the effect of a gender-tailored, Social Cognitive Theory (SCT)-based weight loss maintenance (WLM) intervention on men's physical activity and healthy eating cognitions and behaviours in the 12 months after completing a weight loss programme. A two-phase, assessor-blinded, randomized controlled trial. Ninety-two overweight/obese men (mean [SD] age: 49.2 years [10.1], BMI: 30.7 [3.3] kg/m(2) ) who lost at least 4 kg after completing the 3-month SCT-based SHED-IT Weight Loss Program were randomly allocated to receive (1) the SCT-based SHED-IT WLM Program; or (2) no additional resources (self-help control group). The 6-month gender-tailored SHED-IT WLM Program was completely self-administered and operationalized SCT behaviour change principles to assist men to increase moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and decrease energy-dense, nutrient-poor (discretionary) food consumption after initial weight loss. After randomization (WLM baseline), men were reassessed at 6 months (WLM post-test) and 12 months (6-month WLM follow-up). SCT cognitions (e.g., self-efficacy, goal setting), MVPA, and discretionary food consumption were assessed with validated measures. Following significant improvements in cognitions, MVPA and discretionary food consumption during the weight loss phase, intention-to-treat, linear mixed models revealed no significant group-by-time differences in cognitions or behaviours during the WLM phase. Initial improvements in MVPA and some cognitions (e.g., goal setting, planning, and social support) were largely maintained by both groups at the end of the study. Dietary effects were not as strongly maintained, with the intervention and control groups maintaining 57% and 75% of the Phase I improvements in discretionary food intake, respectively. An additional SCT-based WLM programme did not elicit further improvements over a self-help control in the cognitions or behaviours for MVPA or discretionary food intake of men who had lost weight with a SCT-based weight loss programme. Statement of contribution What is already known on this subject?Weight regain after weight loss (WL) is common. As successful weight loss maintenance (WLM) requires sustained improvements in cognitions and behaviours, health psychology can contribute to intervention development. However, little research has examined the utility of psychological theory in the context of a WLM randomised controlled trial. What does this study add? A theory-based WL program improved men's physical activity and dietary behaviours and cognitions. Men who also received a theory-based WLM program did not show further improvements in physical activity or dietary cognitions and behaviours compared to those that did not.


Effectiveness of brief nutrition interventions on dietary behaviours in adults: A systematic review.

Megan Whatnall, Amanda Patterson, Lee Ashton, Melinda Hutchesson

Appetite [120:335-347] (2018)

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Brief interventions are effective in improving health behaviours including alcohol intake, however the effectiveness of brief interventions targeting nutrition outcomes has not been determined. The aim of this systematic review was to determine the effectiveness of brief nutrition interventions in adults. Seven databases were searched for RCT/pseudo RCT studies published in English to April 2016, and evaluating brief interventions (i.e. single point of contact) designed to promote change in eating behaviours in healthy adults (≥18 years). Of 4849 articles identified, 45 studies met inclusion criteria. Most studies targeted fruit and/or vegetable intake (n = 21) or fat intake (n = 10), and few targeted diet quality (n = 2). Median follow-up was 3.5 months, with few studies (n = 4) measuring longer-term outcomes (≥12 months). Studies aimed to determine whether a brief intervention was more effective than another brief intervention (n = 30), and/or more effective than no intervention (n = 20), with 17 and 11 studies, respectively, reporting findings to that effect. Interventions providing education plus tailored or instructional components (e.g. feedback) were more effective than education alone or non-tailored advice. This review suggests that brief interventions, which are tailored and instructional, can improve short-term dietary behaviours, however evidence for longer-term behaviour change maintenance is limited.


Application of Intervention Mapping to develop a community-based health promotion pre-pregnancy intervention for adolescent girls in rural South Africa: Project Ntshembo (Hope).

Catherine Draper, Lisa Micklesfield, Kathleen Kahn, Stephen Tollman, John Pettifor, David Dunger, Shane Norris

BMC public health [14 Suppl 2:S5] (2014)

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South Africa (SA) is undergoing multiple transitions with an increasing burden of non-communicable diseases and high levels of overweight and obesity in adolescent girls and women. Adolescence is key to addressing trans-generational risk and a window of opportunity to intervene and positively impact on individuals' health trajectories into adulthood. Using Intervention Mapping (IM), this paper describes the development of the Ntshembo intervention, which is intended to improve the health and well-being of adolescent girls in order to limit the inter-generational transfer of risk of metabolic disease, in particular diabetes risk. This paper describes the application of the first four steps of IM. Evidence is provided to support the selection of four key behavioural objectives: viz. to eat a healthy, balanced diet, increase physical activity, reduce sedentary behaviour, and promote reproductive health. Appropriate behaviour change techniques are suggested and a theoretical framework outlining components of relevant behaviour change theories is presented. It is proposed that the Ntshembo intervention will be community-based, including specialist adolescent community health workers who will deliver a complex intervention comprising of individual, peer, family and community mobilisation components. The Ntshembo intervention is novel, both in SA and globally, as it is: (1) based on strong evidence, extensive formative work and best practice from evaluated interventions; (2) combines theory with evidence to inform intervention components; (3) includes multiple domains of influence (community through to the individual); (4) focuses on an at-risk target group; and (5) embeds within existing and planned health service priorities in SA.


Maternal Obesity Management Using Mobile Technology: A Feasibility Study to Evaluate a Text Messaging Based Complex Intervention during Pregnancy.

Hora Soltani, Alexandra Duxbury, Madelynne Arden, Andy Dearden, Penny Furness, Carolyn Garland

Journal of obesity [2015:814830] (2015)

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Maternal obesity and excessive gestational weight gain (GWG) are on the rise with negative impact on pregnancy and birth outcomes. Research into managing GWG using accessible technology is limited. The maternal obesity management using mobile technology (MOMTech) study aimed at evaluating the feasibility of text messaging based complex intervention designed to support obese women (BMI ≥ 30) with healthier lifestyles and limit GWG. Participants received two daily text messages, supported by four appointments with healthy lifestyle midwife, diet and activity goal setting, and self-monitoring diaries. The comparison group were obese mothers who declined to participate but consented for their routinely collected data to be used for comparison. Postnatal interviews and focus groups with participants and the comparison group explored the intervention's acceptability and suggested improvements. Fourteen women completed the study which did not allow statistical analyses. However, participants had lower mean GWG than the comparison group (6.65 kg versus 9.74 kg) and few (28% versus 50%) exceeded the Institute of Medicine's upper limit of 9 kg GWG for obese women. MOMTech was feasible within clinical setting and acceptable intervention to support women to limit GWG. Before further trials, slight modifications are planned to recruitment, text messages, and the logistics of consultation visits.


Nutrition self-efficacy is unidirectionally related to outcome expectations in children.

Andrew Larsen, John McArdle, Trina Robertson, Genevieve Dunton

Appetite [84:166-70] (2015)

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To clarify the underlying relationship between nutrition self-efficacy and outcome expectations because the direction of the relationship (unidirectional vs bidirectional) is debated in the literature. Secondary data analysis of a 10-week, 10-lesson school-based nutrition education intervention among 3rd grade students (N  =  952). Nutrition self-efficacy (7 items) and nutrition outcome expectations (9 items) were measured through student self-report at intervention pre- (time 1) and post- (time 2) assessments. A series of two time point, multi-group cross-lagged bivariate change score models were used to determine the direction of the relationship. A cross lag from nutrition self-efficacy at time 1 predicting changes in nutrition outcome expectations at time 2 significantly improved the fit of the model (Model 3), whereas a cross lag from nutrition outcome expectations at time 1 to changes in nutrition self-efficacy at time 2 only slightly improved the fit of the model (Model 2). Furthermore, adding both cross lags (Model 4) did not improve model fit compared to the model with only the self-efficacy cross lag (Model 3). Lastly, the nutrition outcome expectations cross lag did not significantly predict changes in nutrition self-efficacy in any of the models. Data suggest that there is a unidirectional relationship between nutrition self-efficacy and outcome expectations, in which self-efficacy predicts outcome expectations. Therefore, theory-based nutrition interventions may consider focusing more resources on changing self-efficacy because it may also lead to changes in outcome expectations as well.


Effects of a tailored health promotion program for female blue-collar workers: health works for women.

Marci Campbell, Irene Tessaro, Brenda DeVellis, Salli Benedict, Kristine Kelsey, Leigh Belton, Antonio Sanhueza

Preventive medicine [34:313-23] (2002)

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This study assessed the effects of the Health Works for Women (HWW) intervention on improving multiple behaviors including nutrition and physical activity among rural female blue-collar employees in North Carolina. Nine small to mid-size workplaces were randomly assigned to either intervention or delayed intervention conditions. After a baseline survey, an intervention consisting of two computer-tailored magazines and a natural helpers program was conducted over 18 months. Delayed worksites received one tailored magazine. Approximately 77 and 76% of baseline respondents completed follow-up surveys at 6 and 18 months, respectively, and 538 women (63%) completed all three surveys. At the 18-month follow-up, the intervention group had increased fruit and vegetable consumption by 0.7 daily servings compared to no change in the delayed group (P < 0.05). Significant differences in fat intake were observed at 6 months (P < 0.05) but not at 18 months. The intervention group also demonstrated improvements in strengthening and flexibility exercise compared to the delayed group. The rates of smoking cessation and cancer screening did not differ between study groups. The HWW project was a successful model for achieving certain health behavior changes among blue-collar women.