Male employees from four local worksites were recruited to participate in a short-term and low-intensity nutrition intervention which focused on promoting low-fat dietary habits. The sites were randomized to control conditions or to the intervention programme that consisted of an individualized health risk appraisal, group sessions, mass media activities and environmental changes. Participants were seen before and three months after intervention to measure blood lipids, nutrition knowledge and dietary changes. Eighty-three per cent of all eligible subjects were screened (n = 770) and follow-up measures were obtained for 82%. The score for nutrition knowledge improved significantly in the intervention group. There was also a net reduction in the intake of total calories and in the percentage of energy from total fat. Reported intake of carbohydrates and proteins increased. For all employees assessed, there were no changes in mean total cholesterol level or fatty acid composition. Only among participants with hypercholesterolemia was a significant reduction in blood cholesterol observed. This low-intensity intervention programme achieved some self-reported dietary changes and was successful (at least in part because statistical regression needs to be considered) in obtaining a more short-term beneficial cholesterol level in employees at higher cardiovascular risk.