Results of a community-based campaign to reduce fat intake

Sigrid N. Van Wechem, Patricia Van Assema, Johannes Brug, Cor Kistemaker, Marijke Riedstra, Wendy Hardeman, Michiel R H Löwik

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19 Citations (Scopus)


In 1992, a community-based 'Fat Watch' campaign was held in the city of Alkmaar in the Netherlands. The campaign was implemented within the framework of the nationwide mass-mediated 'Fat Watch' campaign (1991-1994), which aimed at a 10% reduction in fat intake among the general Dutch population. The intervention was carried out as a pilot project to study the effectiveness of strategies and activities, and to apply them subsequently in more cities. The campaign aimed primarily at the active involvement of intermediaries. Effects of the campaign were studied by telephone questionnaires among about 500 respondents, before and after the campaign in both the experimental and a control community. The questionnaire was based on the 'attitude, social influence, self-efficacy' (ASE) model. The results showed that 56% of the respondents were aware of a campaign in their community and that the campaign was positively evaluated by those familiar with it. After the campaign, self-rated fat consumption was significantly higher. No differences between the experimental and control community were found regarding attitude, social influence or self-efficacy expectations towards a reduction in fat consumption or intention to buy low-fat food products. However, as opposed to the control community, there was a significant decrease in actual fat consumption between pre- and post-test in Alkmaar. Furthermore, after the campaign, significantly more respondents in the experimental community intended to eat lower-fat food products and reported a behavioral change in the last six months. It was concluded that the campaign was quite successful as far as campaign awareness was concerned, but that it did not result in substantial change of behavior. The limited decrease in fat consumption observed should be interpreted with care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-218
Number of pages12
JournalNutrition and Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1997


  • Community-based campaign
  • Fat consumption
  • Health education

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