The 40-Something Randomised Controlled Trial improved fruit intake and nutrient density of the diet in mid-age women

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The 40-Something Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT) aimed to determine if a 12-month health professional-led intervention could improve dietary intake and increase physical activity for weight gain prevention in non-obese premenopausal women.


Fifty-four women were randomised to a motivational interviewing intervention (MI) (n = 28; five health professional consultations) or a self-directed intervention (SDI; n = 26; written advice). Weight control behaviours including dietary intake (four-day weighed food record) and physical activity (pedometer steps; minutes spent in light, moderate and vigorous activity; sitting time) were measured at baseline, and at 3 and 12 months. Participants completed a questionnaire containing demographic questions, Short Form 36 and the International Physical Activity Questionnaire at baseline and 12 months. Linear mixed model analyses adjusting for baseline and 3-month behaviour, covariates and interactions were used to test for between-group differences.


At 12 months, the MI group had diets significantly more nutrient dense in iron (P = 0.01) and potassium (P = 0.04), and consumed more fruits (P = 0.02) than the SDI women. Women who achieved their weight control goals consumed significantly more daily fruit servings (+0.76 servings/day, P = 0.02) and less meat/meat alternatives (−0.34 servings/day, P < 0.01) than women who did not achieve weight control. The lack of changes in physical activity indicates that more emphasis may need to be placed on promoting physical activity.


The findings demonstrated the effectiveness of the 40-Something RCT in improving iron and potassium nutrient density and fruit servings per day in women soon to commence menopause.

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