Increasing Fruit and Vegetable Consumption Through a Healthy Eating Blog: A Feasibility Study.
Sommaire de l'article
Despite efforts made by public health organizations to improve consumption of fruits and vegetables, populations in developed countries usually eat less than the minimum recommended. Social media, such as blogs, represent a unique opportunity for improving knowledge translation in health care because they facilitate interactive communication between the public and health professionals. However, no studies have yet evaluated the effect of blogs to promote dietary behavior changes.
Our study aims to conduct a preliminary assessment before undertaking a full randomized controlled trial (RCT) of the feasibility of using an evidence-based healthy eating blog promoting the consumption of fruits and vegetables among adult women.
A total of 80 women aged 18 years and older (mean 42, SD 13 years) eating less than five servings per day of fruit and vegetables (mean 2.75, SD 1.84 servings) were recruited. Participants were randomized to the healthy eating blog group (n=40), which included a weekly blog post over a 6-month period, or to a control group (n=40) that had no exposure to the healthy eating blog. Blog posts were written by a registered dietitian and focused on the improvement of fruit and vegetable consumption. We targeted four main determinants of the behavior that were identified as the best predictors for fruit and vegetable intake by two systematic reviews: (1) knowledge, (2) attitude, (3) self-efficacy, and (4) motivation. The intervention was considered feasible if (1) more than 70% of questionnaires were completed, (2) attendance rate was more than 90% for in-person appointments with the research coordinator, (3) participants accessed at least 75% of the blog posts, and (4) the attrition rate was less than 25%. Blog access was assessed by collecting the blog browsing history data for each participant.
During the intervention, 26 posts were published on the blog. Pre- (baseline) and postintervention (6 months) questionnaires were completed by mean 97% (SD 3%) of participants. All participants attended their in-person appointments. Women accessed mean 87% (SD 7%) of the posts published during the intervention. Only 3% (2/80) of participants dropped out of the study. Between the healthy eating blog and control groups, a difference of 1.0 servings of fruits and vegetables (P<.001) indicated moderate effects of the intervention (Cohen d=0.54).
These results suggest that an intervention using a healthy eating blog meets preestablished feasibility criteria. A larger-scale RCT using the same methodology will be conducted to assess the impact of a healthy eating blog on the dietary habits of women.