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Am J Public Health. 1995 May; 85(5): 650–655.
PMCID: PMC1615435

The costs and effects of a nutritional education program following work-site cholesterol screening.


OBJECTIVES. The purpose of this study was to assess the costs and impact of a nutrition education program following a cholesterol screening. METHODS. Forty work-sites were randomly assigned to one of two educational interventions: a "usual" intervention of 5 minutes of counseling, or a "special" intervention of 2 hours of behaviorally based education on dietary changes to lower serum cholesterol. Costs were monitored, and cholesterol levels were retested 6 and 12 months later. RESULTS. The total per-person cost for screening and the educational intervention was about $50. Cholesterol levels differed little between the two intervention groups 6 months after screening, but after 12 months those in the special intervention worksites showed a 6.5% drop in cholesterol, whereas those at the usual intervention worksites showed a drop of only 3.0%. Hence a 3.5% cholesterol reduction was attributable to the special intervention. CONCLUSIONS. A behaviorally based nutrition education program following cholesterol screening can have a meaningful impact on long-term cholesterol levels at a low cost. Nutrition education in work-sites may therefore be a useful way to lower the risk of heart disease in communities.

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