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Can J Diet Pract Res. 2009 Summer;70(2):66-71.

Paint your plate: effectiveness of a point-of-purchase display.

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Sudbury & District Health Unit, Sudbury, ON, Canada.



This study was conducted to determine consumer understanding and retention of nutrition information presented at grocery stores during the Paint Your Plate campaign via two approaches: interactive display events and brochure distribution.


Data were collected at 17 grocery stores in northern Ontario. Eleven stores held interactive display events with public health staff, a display, resources, and food samples. Six stores only distributed brochures. A total of 688 participants completed a baseline questionnaire, and 432 consented to a three-month follow-up telephone call. Of these, 201 were randomly selected to participate.


Participants at interactive display events were six times more likely than participants receiving brochures to identify a serving size of fruit and vegetables (odds ratio [OR]=5.88; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 4.05, 8.54) and 23 times more likely to identify the recommended number of servings of fruit and vegetables (OR=22.67; 95% CI: 14.29, 35.98). However, at follow-up, there was no significant difference between type of event and the ability to answer correctly.


Interactive displays increased immediate knowledge but failed to increase retention, a finding that suggests consistent presence of the message is needed to reinforce initial understanding and retention. More emphasis should be placed on directing funding toward increasing the frequency and duration of promotional efforts.

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