Planned development and evaluation protocol of two versions of a web-based computer-tailored nutrition education intervention aimed at adults, including cognitive and environmental feedback

L. Springvloet*, L. Lechner, A. Oenema

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Despite decades of nutrition education, the prevalence of unhealthy dietary patterns is still high and inequalities in intake between high and low socioeconomic groups still exist. Therefore, it is important to innovate and improve existing nutrition education interventions. This paper describes the development, design and evaluation protocol of a web-based computer-tailored nutrition education intervention for adults targeting fruit, vegetable, high-energy snack and fat intake. This intervention innovates existing computer-tailored interventions by not only targeting motivational factors, but also volitional and self-regulation processes and environmental-level factors. Methods/design: The intervention development was guided by the Intervention Mapping protocol, ensuring a theory-informed and evidence-based intervention. Two versions of the intervention were developed: a basic version targeting knowledge, awareness, attitude, self-efficacy and volitional and self-regulation processes, and a plus version additionally addressing the home environment arrangement and the availability and price of healthy food products in supermarkets. Both versions consist of four modules: one for each dietary behavior, i.e. fruit, vegetables, high-energy snacks and fat. Based on the self-regulation phases, each module is divided into three sessions. In the first session, feedback on dietary behavior is provided to increase awareness, feedback on attitude and self-efficacy is provided and goals and action plans are stated. In the second session goal achievement is evaluated, reasons for failure are explored, coping plans are stated and goals can be adapted. In the third session, participants can again evaluate their behavioral change and tips for maintenance are provided. Both versions will be evaluated in a three-group randomized controlled trial with measurements at baseline, 1-month, 4-months and 9-months post-intervention, using online questionnaires. Both versions will be compared with a generic nutrition information control condition. The primary outcomes are fruit, vegetable, high-energy snack and fat intake. Discussion: The evaluation study will provide insight into the short-and long-term efficacy of both intervention versions in adults. Additionally, differences in the efficacy among high-and low-educated people will be examined. If these interventions are effective, two well-developed interventions will become available for the implementation and promotion of healthy dietary patterns among both high-and low-educated adults in the Netherlands.
Original languageEnglish
Article number47
Number of pages15
JournalBMC Public Health
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jan 2014


  • Environmental feedback
  • Self-regulation
  • Computer tailoring
  • Nutrition education
  • Fruit intake
  • Vegetable intake
  • Fat intake
  • Snack intake

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