This study assessed psychological and social factors predicting 12-month changes in fruit and vegetable consumption achieved by 271 men and women from a low-income population randomized to brief behavioral and nutrition education counseling. Greater increases in fruit and vegetable intake were achieved in the behavioral than in the nutrition education condition (1.49 vs. 0.87 portions per day, p=.021). Increases were predicted by baseline social support for dietary change but not by baseline psychological measures. However, short-term (8-week) changes in dietary self-efficacy, encouragement, anticipated regret, perceived benefits, and knowledge of recommended intake predicted 12-month changes in fruit and vegetable consumption independently of gender, age, ethnicity, income, and baseline intake. These factors accounted for 51% of the superiority of behavioral counseling over nutrition education.
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