alexa A computer-tailored dietary fat intake intervention for adolescents: results of a randomized controlled trial.


Journal of Community Medicine & Health Education

Author(s): Haerens L, Deforche B, Maes L, Brug J, Vandelanotte C,

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Abstract BACKGROUND: The positive effects of computer-tailored dietary fat intake interventions have been demonstrated in adults, but few studies have investigated the impact on adolescents. PURPOSE: The purpose is to evaluate the acceptability, feasibility and effectiveness of a computer-tailored dietary fat intake education program for adolescents. METHODS: A random sample of 10 schools, 5 with general and 5 with technical-vocational education programs, were selected to participate. In each of the 10 schools, 2 classes of 7th graders were randomly assigned to the intervention (n = 153) or control (no-intervention, n = 151) condition. Students were exposed once in class to a 50-min theory-based computer-tailored dietary fat intake intervention. Questionnaires were completed 1 week before (food frequency questionnaire for dietary fat intake + psychosocial determinants) and 3 months after (process evaluation + food frequency questionnaire for dietary fat intake + psychosocial determinants) the intervention. RESULTS: About one in three students evaluated the intervention as interesting (34\%), novel (38\%), personally relevant (26\%), credible (34\%), and correct (38\%). Half of the students evaluated the intervention messages to be too long, and one fourth did not read the intervention messages. A decrease in dietary fat consumption was shown in girls enrolled in technical-vocational schools (F = 3.5, p < or = .05) and in boys and girls undertaking general education who reported to have read the intervention messages (F = 3.6, p < or = .05); however, no intervention effects were detected for the total sample. CONCLUSIONS: Further improvements to the intervention for use in adolescents should be evaluated. Given that a positive impact was shown in most adolescents and that a computer-tailored dietary fat intake education program has the capability of reaching large groups at low cost, this study shows that using such interventions in adolescents has potential. This article was published in Ann Behav Med and referenced in Journal of Community Medicine & Health Education

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