A randomized feasibility trial of brief telephone counseling to increase fruit and vegetable intakes

Prev Med. May-Jun 2010;50(5-6):265-71. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2010.03.003. Epub 2010 Mar 11.


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.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • African Americans / education
  • African Americans / ethnology
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Carotenoids / blood
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Counseling / organization & administration*
  • Dietetics* / education
  • Dietetics* / organization & administration
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / education
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / ethnology
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Feeding Behavior* / ethnology
  • Female
  • Fruit*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Menu Planning
  • Michigan
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Assessment
  • Nutrition Policy
  • Primary Health Care / organization & administration
  • Teaching Materials
  • Telephone*
  • Vegetables*


  • Carotenoids