An exploratory study into Dutch consumers' experiences with implementing dietary recommendations to reduce fat intake.

P.T. van Assema*, B. Kempers, J. Brug, K. Glanz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Nutrition education messages for the dutch public include many different dietary recommendations for reducing fat intake, e.g. Use low-fat milk, reduce meat intake, etc. The purpose of this exploratory study was to assess which types of dietary recommendations are difficult to implement for consumers and which are easier. Methods: twenty-five recommendations that are often used in educational messages were selected and classified by type of recommendation. Two classifications were used for each recommendation: the product group the recommendation relates to, and the recommended type of behavioural change. Sixty-six adults of all ages were recruited to implement as many of the recommendations as possible over a period of four weeks. Beforehand, participants completed a food frequency list to assess which recommendations they had already implemented. After the 4 weeks, they completed a written questionnaire measuring intention, implementation and perceived difficulties for each of the remaining recommendations. Results: based on the classification according to product group, recommendations concerning spreads and butter, sauces and gravy were rated as least difficult to implement, while recommendations on snacks were most difficult to implement. As far as the type of behavioural change recommendations, preparing a product differently was easiest to implement, while recommendations to eat less of a high-fat product were considered as most difficult to implement. Conclusions: the results show that there are differences in difficulties consumers experience in implementing different types of recommendations for reducing fat intake. Further research should extend this line of inquiry to help design optimally effective nutrition interventions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-112
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1999


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