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Prev Med. 2010 May-Jun;50(5-6):265-71. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2010.03.003. Epub 2010 Mar 11.

A randomized feasibility trial of brief telephone counseling to increase fruit and vegetable intakes.

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University of Michigan, Department of Family Medicine, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.



This study examined the feasibility of eliciting dietary changes in subjects recruited from a diverse primary care setting in Michigan using a written, one-page plan, either alone or with telephone counseling.


A total of 96 subjects were enrolled from 9/28/06 to 5/7/07 (49% minorities). Subjects were randomized into three groups. Group 1 received written materials. Group 2 received written materials plus a one-page form that asked them to make a specific daily plan for substituting one less nutritious food with two servings of fruits and vegetables. Group 3 received the written materials, the one-page form and telephone counseling from a dietitian.


Subject retention was 76% for the 12-week study. Subjects in Groups 1, 2 and 3 changed their mean intakes of fruit and vegetables by 0.4, -0.7 and 1.4 servings/day, respectively. Participants in Group 3 lost an average of 0.73 kg, increased their perception of the importance of eating fruits and vegetables, and 63% increased their serum levels of carotenoids by 20% or more.


Recruitment through a primary care clinic was effective. Formulation of a written plan combined with telephone counseling appears to be promising for improving fruit and vegetable intakes and warrants more definitive study.

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