Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Online programs improve fruit and vegetable consumption

Date:
February 4, 2010
Source:
Henry Ford Health System
Summary:
Online programs that provide information and tips about fruits and vegetables may be the key to getting more Americans to eat healthier, say researchers.

New research finds that online programs that provide information and tips about fruits and vegetables may be the key to getting more Americans to eat healthier.
Credit: Henry Ford Health System

Online programs that provide information and tips about fruits and vegetables may be the key to getting more Americans to eat healthier, say researchers at Henry Ford Hospital.

Related Articles


Researchers found that when given access to an online program about fruits and vegetables, participants increased their daily fruit and vegetable intake by more than two servings. Many of the participants continued using the program after the study concluded, and even reported their family members became involved in the program.

"People already know the health benefits of fruits and vegetables, but they often don't know how to incorporate them into their diet," says study senior author Christine Cole Johnson, Ph.D., M.P.H., chair of Henry Ford's Department of Biostatistics and Research Epidemiology. "That's why our study worked. Using online programs, we were able to offer study participants practical and easy tips to increase their daily fruit and vegetable intake."

Results are published in this month's issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, fewer than 25 percent of adults in the United States eat five servings of fruit and vegetables per day. Those who eat more fruits and vegetables are likely to have reduced risk of chronic diseases, including stroke and certain cancers.

The 12-month-long Henry Ford study recruited members of Health Alliance Plan and four other HMOs in Seattle, Denver, Minneapolis and Atlanta, ages 21 to 65. Study participants were placed in one of these three groups:

  • A control online program that provided general information for the participants about improving their fruit and vegetable intake.
  • A program that was similar but personalized to the individual's needs
  • A program that incorporated the other two components and was also supplemented with motivational interviewing counseling via e-mail.

The program was divided into four sessions. Each session included four to five pages of core content, illustrations and optional links to more detailed information and special features designed to supplement session content. For example, special features illustrated serving sizes and nutritional similarities of fresh versus frozen versus canned foods. Another optional feature presented 300 fruit and vegetable-based recipes. Short video and audio files were offered to reinforce text on behavioral strategies. Once available, all program components were accessible throughout the 12-month study period.

An optional feature offered menus individually tailored by nutrition experts and were generated on the basis of participants' fruit and vegetable preferences and dietary restrictions.

At the end of the study, researchers found that there was improvement across all study groups, but the most significant changes were with the group that had motivational interviewing and counseling.

"We found that giving participants gentle reminders that refocused them on their goals greatly improved progress," says study co-author, Gwen Alexander, PhD, assistant research scientist. "They were being held accountable for their progress, which became a key motivator."

Up next: Drs. Johnson and Alexander are now working on creating a similar study focused on people ages 21 to 30, to find new strategies to help them incorporate more fruits and vegetables into their diet, while catering to their lifestyle.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Henry Ford Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Henry Ford Health System. "Online programs improve fruit and vegetable consumption." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 February 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100204144819.htm>.
Henry Ford Health System. (2010, February 4). Online programs improve fruit and vegetable consumption. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100204144819.htm
Henry Ford Health System. "Online programs improve fruit and vegetable consumption." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100204144819.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — One man hopes his invention -– a machine that produces cheap sanitary pads –- will help empower Indian women. Duration: 01:51 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — In Africa's only biosafety level 4 laboratory, scientists have been carrying out experiments on bats to understand how virus like Ebola are being transmitted, and how some of them resist to it. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — A recent test of a prototype Ebola vaccine generated an immune response to the disease in subjects. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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