The Lifestyle Nutrition study was conducted from October 2001-April 2002 in which we tested a curriculum that focused on teaching adults lifestyle skills for improving the quality of their diet.
Ninety-eight participants were randomly assigned to one of three groups: 1) Weekly meeting group (WM) that met face-to-face with other participants and two facilitators for six months; 2) Correspondent group (CR) that received the intervention materials by mail and email; 3) Usual care group (UC) that received a nutrition book for six months then received the correspondent intervention for the next six months. A Modified Healthy Eating Index (MHEI) score was obtained for each participant at baseline and at six months. The MHEI is a composite score of overall diet quality and was based on food records kept by participants.
The WM group significantly improved their MHEI score from baseline and compared to the other two groups. The CR also showed a slightly increased score and the UC group had a slightly decreased score. These results showed that the lifestyle approach, especially delivered via small group meetings, was effective in improving total diet quality. A peer-reviewed paper describing the study was published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior in January 2004.
After we proved the LNS was effective, we developed a program called Healthy Eating Every Day to disseminate the curriculum materials so others could benefit from it. The entire program, including a support website and online learning guide, is available from our dissemination partner, Human Kinetics at www.activeliving.info.
Carpenter RA, Finley C, Barlow CE. Pilot test of a behavioral skill building intervention to improve diet quality. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. 2004;26:20-26.