Increasing fruit and vegetable consumption through worksites and families in the treatwell 5-a-day study

Am J Public Health. 1999 Jan;89(1):54-60. doi: 10.2105/ajph.89.1.54.


Objectives: We report on the results of the Treatwell 5-a-Day study, a worksite intervention aimed at increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables.

Methods: Twenty-two worksites were randomly assigned to 3 groups: (1) a minimal intervention control group, (2) a worksite intervention, and (3) a worksite-plus-family intervention. The interventions used community-organizing strategies and were structured to target multiple levels of influence, following a socioecological model. Data were collected by self-administered employee surveys before and after the intervention; the response rate was 87% (n = 1359) at baseline and 76% (n = 1306) at follow-up. A process tracking system was used to document intervention delivery.

Results: After control for worksite, gender, education, occupation, race/ethnicity, and living situation, total fruit and vegetable intake increased by 19% in the worksite-plus-family group, 7% in the worksite intervention group and 0% in the control group (P = .05). These changes reflect a one half serving increase among workers in the worksite-plus-family group compared with the control group (P = .018).

Conclusions: The worksite-plus-family intervention was more successful in increasing fruit and vegetable consumption than was the worksite intervention. Worksite interventions involving family members appear to be a promising strategy for influencing workers' dietary habits.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Boston
  • Diet*
  • Family* / psychology
  • Feeding Behavior / psychology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Fruit*
  • Health Education / organization & administration*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nutritional Sciences / education*
  • Occupational Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vegetables*
  • Workplace*