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Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 Apr;77(4 Suppl):1028S-1034S.

Past, present, and future of computer-tailored nutrition education.

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  • 1Department of Public Health, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.


Computer-tailored nutrition education is an innovative and promising tool to motivate people to make healthy dietary changes. It provides respondents with individualized feedback about their dietary behaviors, motivations, attitudes, norms, and skills and mimics the process of "person-to-person" dietary counseling. The available evidence indicates that computer-tailored nutrition education is more effective in motivating people to make dietary changes than general nutrition information, especially for reduction of dietary fat. The effectiveness of computer tailoring has been attributed to the fact that individualized feedback commands greater attention, is processed more intensively, contains less redundant information, and is appreciated better than more general intervention materials. Interactive technology (eg, the Internet, the World Wide Web) offers good opportunities for the application of computer-tailored nutrition education, and a first controlled study of Web-based computer tailoring shows promising results. However, using the Web for interactive personalized nutrition education also presents new challenges.

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