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Nutr Rev. 2009 Aug;67(8):464-80. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-4887.2009.00219.x.

Does tailoring make a difference? A systematic review of the long-term effectiveness of tailored nutrition education for adults.

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Clinical Trials Research Unit, School of Population Health, University of Auckland, New Zealand.


Tailoring individualizes information to the receiver and provides a potential strategy for improving dietary intakes. The present systematic review summarizes evidence for the long-term (> or =6 months) effectiveness of tailored nutrition education for adults and includes priority population groups. Key electronic databases and relevant bibliographies were searched for trials measuring the following outcomes: nutrition-related health behaviors (e.g., dietary intake and food purchases) and anthropometric measures. Data synthesis was comprised of meta-analysis (for 15 trials including all population groups) and narrative review (for five trials of priority population groups). Overall, the quality of the studies was moderate to good. Tailored nutrition education was found to be a promising strategy for improving the diets of adults (including those in priority population groups) over the long term. However, future studies should ensure adequate reporting of research design and methods and reduce the chances of false-positive findings by using more objective measures of diet, clearly identifying the primary study outcome, and concentrating on outcomes most relevant to nutrition-related disease.

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