One-year results from a brief, computer-assisted intervention to decrease consumption of fat and increase consumption of fruits and vegetables

Prev Med. 2003 May;36(5):594-600. doi: 10.1016/s0091-7435(03)00019-7.


Background: Current cancer prevention recommendations include reducing consumption of fat and increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables.

Methods: Healthy women health maintenance organization members (n = 616) ages 40-70 were randomly assigned to either a nutrition intervention or a control intervention unrelated to diet. Intervention included two 45-min counseling sessions plus two brief follow-up telephone contacts. Counseling sessions included a 20-min, interactive, computer-based intervention using a touch-screen format. Intervention goals were reducing dietary fat and increasing fruit and vegetable consumption. Outcome measures included a food frequency questionnaire and the Fat and Fiber Behavior Questionnaire (FFBQ). Total serum cholesterol was also measured at baseline and 12 months.

Results: Twelve-month follow-up data showed improvements on all dietary outcome variables. Compared to the control, intervention participants reported significantly less fat consumption (3.75 points less for percentage of energy from fat), significantly greater consumption of fruit and vegetables combined (0.93 more servings per day), and a significant reduction in a behavioral measure of fat consumption (0.20 point change in the FFBQ). Group differences in total serum cholesterol, while in the desired direction, were not significant.

Conclusions: In appropriate circumstances, moderate-intensity dietary interventions can show significant effects for periods of at least 1 year.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Decision Making, Computer-Assisted*
  • Diet, Fat-Restricted*
  • Feedback
  • Female
  • Fruit*
  • Health Maintenance Organizations
  • Health Promotion
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Oregon
  • Vegetables*
  • Women's Health*


  • Cholesterol