The application and impact of computer-generated personalized nutrition education: a review of the literature

Patient Educ Couns. 1999 Feb;36(2):145-56. doi: 10.1016/s0738-3991(98)00131-1.


Computer-tailored nutrition education may be more effective than general nutrition education because messages are tailored to individual behavior, needs and beliefs of subjects. Therefore, the messages are likely to be of more personal relevance and may have stronger motivational effects. Computer-generated nutrition education has been studied for different dietary behaviors, in different target populations, and in different settings. In recent years, eight studies have been published that assessed the impact of comprehensive computer-generated nutrition interventions that were based on behavior change theory. In this article, the process of providing people with computer-tailored nutrition education is described and the studies on the impact of computer-tailored nutrition education are reviewed. The results point to the conclusion that computer-tailored nutrition education is more likely to be read, remembered, and experienced as personally relevant compared to standard materials. Furthermore, computer-tailored nutrition education also appears to have a greater impact in motivating people to change their diet, their fat intake in particular, although at present no definite conclusions can be drawn.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Attitude to Health
  • Computer-Assisted Instruction / methods*
  • Feedback
  • Health Education / methods*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Motivation
  • Needs Assessment
  • Nutrition Assessment
  • Nutritional Sciences / education*
  • Patient Care Planning*
  • Self Efficacy
  • Treatment Outcome