A nutrition intervention with a main focus on vegetables and bread consumption among young men in the Norwegian National Guard
Background: Young men are difficult to reach with conventional nutrition information and they have a low intake of vegetables and whole grain cereals. Few intervention studies have focused on improving young men’s consumption of vegetables and whole grains.
Objective: A 5-month intervention focusing on a combination of increased availability of healthy foods and nutritional information was developed to stimulate the intake of vegetables and semi-whole grain bread among a group of young men in the Norwegian military.
Subjects: A total of 376 recruits in the intervention group and 105 recruits in the control group participated in the entire study. Results: The average daily increase in consumption of vegetables was 82 g (p <0.001), and semi-whole grain bread 47 g (p <0.001) between baseline and follow-up in the intervention group. No significant changes were observed in the control group. Differences between intervention and control group at follow-up were significant (p <0.001) for vegetables and semi-whole grain bread, when controlling for baseline values, and seasonal variation for vegetables. The recruits in the intervention group received higher scores on the questions concerning nutritional knowledge after the intervention, compared to baseline (p <0.001). There was a significantly higher increase in the intake of vegetables among the recruits who increased the number of correct answers to the knowledge questions (b-value: 0.14, p<0.05) than among the others. There was no significant change in scores of food satisfaction after the intervention.
Conclusion: The combination of increased availability of healthy food items and nutrition information was an effective way to increase the intake of vegetables and semi-whole grain bread, without a reduction in food satisfaction, among young men in the military.
Keywords: intervention; young men; vegetables; bread
(Published: 21 October 2013)
Citation: Food & Nutrition Research 2013. 57: 21036 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/fnr.v57i0.21036
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Authors retain copyright of their work, with first publication rights granted to SNF Swedish Nutrition Foundation.