Promoting fruit and vegetable consumption. Testing an intervention based on the theory of planned behaviour
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NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Appetite. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Appetite, Vol. 58, No. 3 (2012). DOI: 10.1016/j.appet.2012.02.012
This study evaluated the efficacy of a theory of planned behaviour (TPB) based intervention to increase fruit and vegetable consumption. The extent to which fruit and vegetable consumption and change in intake could be explained by the TPB was also examined. Participants were randomly assigned to two levels of intervention frequency matched for intervention content (low frequency n = 92, high frequency n = 102). Participants received TPB-based email messages designed to increase fruit and vegetable consumption, messages targeted attitude, subjective norm and perceived behavioural control (PBC). Baseline and post-intervention measures of TPB variables and behaviour were collected. Across the entire study cohort, fruit and vegetable consumption increased by 0.83 servings/day between baseline and follow-up. Intention, attitude, subjective norm and PBC also increased (p < .05). The TPB successfully modelled fruit and vegetable consumption at both time points but not behaviour change. The increase of fruit and vegetable consumption is a promising preliminary finding for those primarily interested in increasing fruit and vegetable consumption. However, those interested in theory development may have concerns about the use of this model to explain behaviour change in this context. More high quality experimental tests of the theory are needed to confirm this result.
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