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Randomized controlled trial of a brief research-based intervention promoting fruit and vegetable consumption


Correspondence should be addressed to Ian Kellar, General Practice and Primary Care Research Unit, University of Cambridge Institute of Public Health, Forvie Site, Robinson way, Cambridge, CB2 2SR (e-mail:


Objective. The present study sought to test the efficacy of a brief research-based, leaflet-like intervention to promote eating the recommended daily intake of fruit and vegetables (RDIFV).

Design. A controlled, pre- post-test experimental study with random allocation and a 1 week self-report behavioural follow-up was conducted.

Method. The intervention employed persuasive communication targeting self-efficacy and intention, and invited participants to form implementation intentions in relation to acquiring and preparing fruit and vegetables for consumption.

Results. Intervention participants had stronger post-intervention intentions to consume the RDIFV, and higher anticipated regret in relation to failing to do so, compared with controls, controlling for pre-intervention scores. At follow-up, the intervention group was found to have eaten more fruit and vegetables and to have consumed the RDIFV more frequently.

Discussion. It is concluded that this study supports the previously reported power of implementation intentions to prompt enactment of intentions, and that a brief research-based leaflet-like intervention could result in immediate enhancement of intentions and anticipated regret, and promote greater fruit and vegetable consumption.