A family-based intervention to increase fruit and vegetable consumption in adolescents: a pilot study

Natalie Pearson, Andrew J Atkin, Stuart J H Biddle, Trish Gorely

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32 Citations (Scopus)


To evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of a pilot family-based newsletter intervention to increase fruit and vegetable (FV) consumption among adolescents. 

Family-based, two-group randomised control trial with baseline, post-intervention and follow-up measures. The intervention group received two FV newsletter packs over a 1 month period by postal mail. Social cognitive and behavioural choice theories provide the theoretical framework for the design and development of intervention materials. Control families were provided with all intervention materials at the end of the study. Adolescent FV consumption was assessed by an FFQ. Adolescent-reported barriers to eating FV, FV habits and preferences were the secondary outcomes, along with parent FV consumption, and parents reported knowledge, encouragement, home availability and accessibility of FV. Repeated-measures ANOVA was used to detect differences in behavioural and psychosocial outcomes between groups, time and group-by-time. 

East Midlands, UK. 

Forty-nine parents and adolescents aged 12–14 years. 

Process evaluation indicated high reach, dose acceptability and fidelity of the intervention. At post-intervention and 6 weeks later at follow-up, adolescents in the intervention group had significantly higher fruit: (P < 0·01) and vegetable (P < 0·05) consumption and higher preferences for vegetables (P < 0·01), compared with the control group. At post-intervention and follow-up, parents in the intervention group had significantly higher fruit (P < 0·001) and vegetable (P < 0·01) consumption and reported higher accessibility of fruit and vegetables (P < 0·001), compared with those in the control group. 

Family-based, newsletter interventions promoting FV consumption to adolescents appear to be feasible and effective at increasing FV consumption.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)876-885
Number of pages10
JournalPublic Health Nutrition
Issue number6
Early online date3 Mar 2010
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010

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