Efficacy and use of an internet-delivered computer-tailored lifestyle intervention, targeting saturated fat intake, physical activity and smoking cessation: a randomized controlled trial

Ann Behav Med. 2008 Apr;35(2):125-35. doi: 10.1007/s12160-008-9023-1. Epub 2008 Mar 25.


Background: Although experts claim that computer-tailored interventions provided over the Internet have great potential to promote health behavior change, few studies have tested the efficacy of computer-tailored lifestyle interventions online-delivered over the Internet.

Purpose: To evaluate the short-term (1 month) efficacy of an Internet-delivered, computer-tailored lifestyle intervention targeting saturated fat intake, physical activity (PA), and smoking cessation, and to evaluate exposure to the intervention.

Methods: A pretest-posttest randomized controlled trial with an intervention group and a no intervention waiting list control group was conducted. Self-reported behavior and determinants were assessed at baseline and 1 month follow-up. Exposure to the intervention was monitored through server registrations. The data were analyzed using multiple linear and logistic regression analysis.

Results: The intervention resulted in a significantly lower self-reported saturated fat intake (b = -0.76, p < 0.01) and a higher likelihood of meeting the PA guidelines among respondents who were insufficiently active at baseline (OR = 1.34, 95%CI = 1.001-1.80). No significant intervention effects were found for self-reported smoking status. Of the participants, 81% actually visited the website.

Conclusions: The Internet-delivered, computer-tailored lifestyle intervention was effective in reducing self-reported saturated fat intake and in increasing self-reported PA among participants who completed the study.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Behavior Therapy / methods*
  • Diet, Fat-Restricted*
  • Exercise*
  • Fatty Acids / administration & dosage*
  • Fatty Acids / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Internet*
  • Life Style*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands
  • Patient Dropouts
  • Smoking Cessation / methods*
  • Software
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Therapy, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Fatty Acids