Parent Fruit and Vegetable Consumption Outcomes from the Translational ‘Time for Healthy Habits’ Trial: Secondary Outcomes from a Partially Randomized Preference Trial

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International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health


Healthy eating and active living interventions targeting parents of young children could have benefits for both children and parents. The aim of this study was to assess the effectiveness of two remotely delivered healthy eating and active living interventions delivered at scale to parents, in increasing parent vegetable and fruit consumption (pre-specified secondary outcomes). Parents of children aged 2–6 years residing in New South Wales, Australia (n = 458), were recruited to a partially randomized preference trial consisting of three groups (telephone intervention (n = 95); online intervention (n = 218); written material (Control) (n = 145)). This design allowed parents with a strong preference to select their preferred intervention, and once preference trends had been established, all parents that were subsequently recruited were randomized to obtain robust relative effects. Parent vegetable and fruit consumption was assessed via telephone interview at baseline and 9 months later. At follow-up, randomized parents who received the telephone intervention (n = 73) had significantly higher vegetable consumption compared to those who received the written control (n = 81) (+0.41 serves/day, p = 0.04), but there were no differences in parents allocated to intervention groups based on preference. No differences in fruit consumption were found for randomized or preference participants for either the telephone or online intervention. There may be some benefit to parents participating in the Healthy Habits Plus (telephone-based) intervention aimed at improving the eating behaviors of their children.

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