A randomized controlled trial of an appearance-based dietary intervention

Health Psychol. 2014 Jan;33(1):99-102. doi: 10.1037/a0032322. Epub 2013 Mar 25.


Objective: Inadequate fruit and vegetable consumption precipitates preventable morbidity and mortality. The efficacy of an appearance-based dietary intervention was investigated, which illustrates the beneficial effect that fruit and vegetable consumption has on skin appearance.

Methods: Participants were randomly allocated to three groups receiving information-only or a generic or own-face appearance-based intervention. Diet was recorded at baseline and 10 weekly follow-ups. Participants in the generic and own-face intervention groups witnessed on-screen stimuli and received printed photographic materials to illustrate the beneficial effect of fruit and vegetable consumption on skin color.

Results: Controlling for baseline diet, a significant effect of intervention group was found on self-reported fruit and vegetable intake among 46 completers who were free of medical and personal reasons preventing diet change. The own-face appearance-based intervention group reported a significant, sustained improvement in fruit and vegetable consumption whereas the information-only and generic appearance-based intervention groups reported no significant dietary changes.

Conclusions: Seeing the potential benefits of fruit and vegetable consumption on own skin color may motivate dietary improvement.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01511484.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Diet / psychology*
  • Diet / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Fruit*
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation
  • Skin Pigmentation*
  • Vegetables*
  • Young Adult

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT01511484