Objective: This study examined the feasibility of eliciting dietary changes in subjects recruited from a diverse primary care setting in Michigan using a written, one-page plan, either alone or with telephone counseling.
Methods: A total of 96 subjects were enrolled from 9/28/06 to 5/7/07 (49% minorities). Subjects were randomized into three groups. Group 1 received written materials. Group 2 received written materials plus a one-page form that asked them to make a specific daily plan for substituting one less nutritious food with two servings of fruits and vegetables. Group 3 received the written materials, the one-page form and telephone counseling from a dietitian.
Results: Subject retention was 76% for the 12-week study. Subjects in Groups 1, 2 and 3 changed their mean intakes of fruit and vegetables by 0.4, -0.7 and 1.4 servings/day, respectively. Participants in Group 3 lost an average of 0.73 kg, increased their perception of the importance of eating fruits and vegetables, and 63% increased their serum levels of carotenoids by 20% or more.
Conclusion: Recruitment through a primary care clinic was effective. Formulation of a written plan combined with telephone counseling appears to be promising for improving fruit and vegetable intakes and warrants more definitive study.
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