Research Article| Volume 52, ISSUE 12, P1111-1119, December 2020

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A Randomized mHealth Trial to Promote Vegetable Intake Through Counting and Goal Setting

Published:October 06, 2020DOI:



      To determine if counting and goal setting can increase red/orange vegetable intake.


      Pre-posttest experimental.


      Midwestern university.


      Undergraduate students (n = 165).


      Those in the intervention group (n = 85) were asked to count the number of times they ate red/orange vegetables and set a goal to eat 1 more time.

      Main Outcome Measure

      An estimate (number of times/d) of vegetable intake based on an independent review of uploaded photographs and descriptions of meals from smartphones.


      Generalized estimating equations.


      For the intervention group, mean frequency intake increased from 0.9 times/d on Monday to 1.6 times/d on Tuesday and to 1.3 times/d on Wednesday, whereas mean intakes for the control group were 1.0, 0.8, and 0.8 times/d, respectively. There were significant group × time interactions for Tuesday (β = 0.8; P < 0.001) and Wednesday (β = 0.5; P = 0.006).

      Conclusions and Implications

      A mobile method that helped people count their daily red/orange vegetable intake and set a goal appeared to increase consumption. This finding suggests that nutrition education programs that provide people with easy ways to track specific dietary behaviors might be effective at helping them attain goals.

      Key Words

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