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Public Health Nutr. 2007 Mar;10(3):273-9.

School-based internet-tailored fruit and vegetable education combined with brief counselling increases children's awareness of intake levels.

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  • 1Department of Public Health, Erasmus MC-University Medical Center Rotterdam, 3000 CA Rotterdam, The Netherlands.



Children's fruit/vegetable intake is still below recommended levels. This study applied Internet-tailored advice for schoolchildren and Internet-supported brief dietary counselling (with child and parent) within preventive health care to promote fruit/vegetable intake.


The study involved 30 seventh-grade classes (16 in the intervention group and 14 in the control group) with a total of 675 children aged 9-12 years, of whom 495 were allowed to participate.


A cluster-randomised baseline-post-test experimental design was applied. During school hours, all children completed Internet-administered questionnaires on fruit/vegetable intake and related determinants. Children in the intervention group received immediate online individually tailored nutrition feedback. For each child in the intervention group, a nurse received information concerning the assessment of fruit/vegetable intake via the Internet to support a 5 min counselling protocol to promote fruit/vegetable intake. Children completed a similar post-test questionnaire 3 months after the first assessment. Intention-to-treat analyses were conducted using multilevel regression analyses.


A total of 486 children (98% of 495) participated (263 in the intervention group, 223 in the control group); 240 child-parent couples in the intervention group attended the counselling. Awareness of inadequate fruit intake (odds ratio (OR) = 3.0; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.8-5.3) and knowledge of recommended vegetable intake levels (OR = 2.7; 95% CI = 1.8-4.1) were significantly more likely at post-test in the intervention group than in the control group. No significant effects were found on intake or other determinants.


A compact, integrated two-component intervention can induce positive changes in knowledge and awareness of intake levels of fruit/vegetables among schoolchildren. To induce changes in intake levels, more comprehensive interventions may be needed.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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