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Health Educ Behav. 2000 Oct;27(5):649-63.

The effect of the Maryland WIC 5-A-Day promotion program on participants' stages of change for fruit and vegetable consumption.

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Department of Health Education, University of Maryland, College Park 20742, USA.


The Maryland Women, Infants and Children (WIC) 5-A-Day Promotion Program examined the effect of a multifaceted nutrition intervention on changing the fruit and vegetable consumption of low-income women in the WIC program in Maryland. The sample consisted of 3,122 participants (1,443 intervention and 1,679 control) with a mean age of 27.2. Fifty-six percent were Black/African American. This article focuses on the effect of the intervention on the stages of change of the participants. Intervention participants showed significantly greater positive movement through the stages than control participants. Stages of change were measured for two specific target behaviors: eating five servings of fruits and vegetables a day and eating more servings of fruit and vegetables a day. Results demonstrated significant differences in the stage status of intervention and control women and in movement through the stages. The effectiveness of the intervention across groups depended on which staging measure was used.

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