Research: BROOKIE and COLLEAGUES,

Listed in Issue 266

Abstract

BROOKIE and COLLEAGUES, 1. Department of Psychology, University of Otago, P.O. Box 56, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand. kate.brookie@postgrad.otago.ac.nz ;2. Department of Human Nutrition, University of Otago, P.O. Box 56, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand. louise.mainvil@otago.ac.nz ; 3. Centre for Free Radical Research, Department of Pathology, University of Otago, Christchurch, PO Box 4345, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand. anitra.carr@otago.ac.nz ; 4. Centre for Free Radical Research, Department of Pathology, University of Otago, Christchurch, PO Box 4345, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand. margreet.vissers@otago.ac.nz ; 5. Department of Psychology, University of Otago, P.O. Box 56, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand.  tconner@psy.otago.ac.nz set out to develop and test the effectiveness of a mobile-phone based ecological momentary intervention (EMI) to increase fruit and vegetable (FV) consumption in low-consuming young adults.

Background

Methodology

A two-week randomised controlled trial of low-FV consuming young adults ages 18-25 years (n = 171) compared three conditions: ecological momentary intervention (EMI), fruit and vegetable intervention (FVI), and a diet-as-usual control (ANZCTRN12615000183583). Participants in the EMI condition were sent two targeted text messages a day for 13 days and were asked to increase daily FV consumption to at least five servings. These messages were designed, using the Health Action Process Approach, to address salient beliefs identified as effective in a preliminary focus group investigation. Participants in the FVI condition were provided two servings of FV a day (carrots, kiwifruit or oranges, and apples) to eat in addition to their current diet. Control participants ate their normal diet. Participants reported their daily servings of FV each evening during the study using a smartphone-delivered survey. Blood samples testing plasma vitamin C and total carotenoids were taken pre- and post-intervention as an objective biomarker of FV intake.

Results

Participants in the EMI and FVI conditions reported higher daily servings of FV - approximately +1 serving per day more compared to control (EMI = 3.7 servings/day; FVI = 3.7 servings/day; Control = 2.8 servings/day) and approximately +1.2 servings compared to baseline. Increases in objective biomarkers for the experimental conditions supported the validity of self-reported FV consumption.

Conclusion

Our results provide initial proof of concept that EMI strategies (with minor financial assistance) are as effective as giving FV in increasing FV consumption in educated, low-consuming young adults.

References

Brookie KL1, Mainvil LA2, Carr AC3, Vissers MCM4, Conner TS5. The development and effectiveness of an ecological momentary intervention to increase daily fruit and vegetable consumption in low-consuming young adults. Appetite. 108:32-41. Jan 1 2017. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2016.09.015. Epub Sep 15 2016.

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