Efficacy of a minimal intervention to reduce fat intake

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    Effective dietary interventions must be developed to reduce fat intake in whole populations, rather than clinical subgroups. This study tested the effects of personalised feedback on fat intake in a general population. Hospital workers (n=801) were randomised to receive personalised feedback or no personalised feedback. Personalised feedback consisted of one sentence expressing current fat intake as a percentage of total calorific intake. Changes in fat intake from baseline to five months post-intervention were evaluated. The personalised intervention produced significant decreases in total and saturated fat intake, compared with the control group. Total-fat decreased by 8.6% (versus 0.2% in the control group); saturated fat decreased by 9.3% (versus 1.7% in the control group). Fat intake as a proportion of total calorific intake did not decrease significantly in either condition. Findings also revealed differential effects of feedback on high- versus low-fat consumer groups. Personalised feedback significantly reduced fat intake in high-fat consumers, and prevented low-fat consumers from increasing their fat intake. Personalised fat feedback therefore represents an efficacious and low-intensity approach to the reduction of fat intake in the general population. Copyright © 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1517-1524
    Number of pages7
    JournalSocial Science and Medicine
    Issue number10
    Publication statusPublished - 2001


    • Diet
    • Fat intake
    • Health promotion
    • Health risk
    • Randomised controlled trial


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