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Public Health Nutr. 2005 Oct;8(7):820-5.

Beneficial effects of short-term nutritional counselling at the primary health-care level among Brazilian adults.

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Department of Nutrition, School of Public Health, University of São Paulo (USP), Av. Dr Arnaldo 715, São Paulo, SP 01246-904, Brazil.



To evaluate the impact of a low-cost nutritional intervention in changing the lifestyle of adults.


Randomised clinical trial.


Primary health-care centre in São José do Rio Preto, São Paulo State, Brazil.


We randomly assigned 104 adults (83 women and 21 men aged 30-65 years, body mass index 24-35 kg m(-2), non-diabetic) into two groups: nutrition counselling and control. Each subject in the intervention group received three individualised nutritional counselling sessions during the first 6 months aimed at increasing intakes of fruits, vegetables and olive oil, reducing saturated fat and improving physical activity. Body composition, biochemical indicators and lifestyle were assessed at baseline and at 6 months and 1 year in both groups.


After 6 months of follow-up, body weight, waist circumference, diastolic blood pressure, fasting blood glucose, total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, total and saturated fat, and dietary energy and cholesterol levels showed a more significant decrease among subjects in the intervention group than in the control group (P < 0.05). Moreover, the intervention group showed significantly greater improvement in each intervention goal, such as reduced intake of saturated fat and increased intakes of fruits, vegetables, fibre and olive oil (P < 0.05). After 12 months of follow-up, most of the outcomes were maintained.


The low-cost nutritional intervention programme improved serum lipids profile and weight control, and appeared to be feasible for use at a primary health-care centre in a developing country.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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