Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Personalized Nutritional Information Sent Through Mail Helps Improve Diets

Date:
May 8, 2009
Source:
Brown University
Summary:
Researchers have found that sending customized nutritional materials through the mail helped low-income ethnically diverse people eat more fruits and vegetables and improve their diets.

Researchers have found that sending customized nutritional materials through the mail helped low-income ethnically diverse people eat more fruits and vegetables and improve their diets.
Credit: Image courtesy of Brown University

Brown University researchers have shown that there is an inexpensive way to help low-income, ethnically diverse people eat better: Send personalized nutrition education materials through the mail.

That is the primary finding in a new study to be published in The International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. The implications are significant as public policy-makers struggle to find new cost-effective ways to slow the escalating price of health care.

The $2-million Your Health/Su Vida Saludable study funded by the National Cancer Institute showed so much promise that the research team is in the middle of disseminating the program to local community agencies, funded by a $1.3-million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“It’s a lot less expensive to send (people) material in the mail than to sit down with them and do multiple counseling sessions over time. And people really liked the materials,” said lead author Kim Gans, associate professor (research) of community health at Brown University and co-director of Brown’s Institute for Community Health Promotion.

The initial study began in October 2000 and ran through February 2007. Researchers recruited 1,841 people, mostly in Rhode Island. Slightly more than half were Latino, and 13 percent were African American. About 56 percent of the population involved in the study had a household annual income of less than $20,000. People interested in participating filled out forms at community events or dialed a 1-800 number posted at various public venues.

Once participants were in place, researchers conducted a telephone survey to identify people’s dietary habits, what motivated them to eat healthier, and barriers to eating healthier as well as their interests and other personal information.

About a week later, participants received nutrition information in the mail. The information they received depended on which study group they were in. One study group received nutrition brochures from national agencies. The other three study groups received nutrition information that was individually tailored to their needs and interests, based on their answers to the telephone survey. The mailings were written in a simple, easy-to-follow style in English or Spanish.

Of the three tailored study groups, one group received the information all in one mailing. The two other groups received the information split into four mailings during a 12-week period. One of these two groups also received additional surveys between mailings to “re-tailor” the materials.

Gans and the other researchers found that people in the tailored groups had greater increases in vegetable and fruit consumption and larger reductions in their fat intake than those in the nontailored group. Of the nontailored groups, those people who received their information in small batches over time made the strongest improvements in their diets.

Unexpectedly, the researchers also found that less educated consumers benefitted even more from the tailored dietary materials. They improved their fruit and vegetable intake even more than more consumers with more education.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Brown University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Brown University. "Personalized Nutritional Information Sent Through Mail Helps Improve Diets." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 May 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090508190412.htm>.
Brown University. (2009, May 8). Personalized Nutritional Information Sent Through Mail Helps Improve Diets. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090508190412.htm
Brown University. "Personalized Nutritional Information Sent Through Mail Helps Improve Diets." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090508190412.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A research institute in Paris somehow misplaced more than 2,000 vials of the deadly SARS virus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins