Benefits of habit-based informational interventions: a randomised controlled trial of fruit and vegetable consumption

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To assess the effectiveness of a habit-based intervention delivered by e-mail or sms in improving fruit and vegetable consumption among young adults.


An eight-week randomised controlled trial compared the effectiveness of three different types of message content (habit-based messages; food-group messages; general healthy eating messages) and two delivery methods (e-mail versus sms) on habit strength and consumption of fruits and vegetables in 71 undergraduate participants.


A significant message content by time interaction indicated that the habit-based intervention improved fruit consumption over the eight-week period. Vegetable consumption significantly increased over the intervention period regardless of message content. Delivery method did not influence these results.


Messages based on a habit framework can be utilised to improve fruit consumption in young adults. Furthermore, simply reminding young adults to be conscious of their food choices may be sufficient to improve their overall vegetable consumption.

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