Targeted Messages Increase Dairy Consumption in Adults: a Randomized Controlled Trial Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • BACKGROUND: Dairy consumption amongst North Americans aged 30-50 has been declining. Targeted messages have been identified as a cost-efficient method through which to increase health-enhancing behavior, such as dairy intake. PURPOSE: The aim of this study is to assess the utility of targeted, framed, efficacy-enhancing messages on calcium consumption from dairy in adults aged 30-50 in a randomized controlled trial. METHOD: Seven hundred and thirty-two individuals (463 women, 269 men; M age = 40.57 years) were randomly assigned to one of five message conditions: (1) gain-framed (GF), (2) loss-framed (LF), (3) self-regulatory efficacy-enhancing (SRE), (4) GF plus SRE (GF + SRE), or (5) LF plus SRE (LF + SRE). Conditions were separate for men and women. Each condition received an emailed message on four consecutive days. Calcium intake from dairy, self-regulatory efficacy, outcome expectations, and outcome value were measured at baseline, 1 and 4 weeks following the intervention. RESULTS: Calcium intake from dairy significantly increased from baseline to week 1 post-intervention in all conditions (p < .001). A significant message condition x time interaction (p = .04) revealed that increases seen in the LF + SRE condition were maintained at week 4. All social cognitive constructs increased following the intervention (ps < .01). Self-regulatory efficacy (β = .28, p < .01) and outcome expectations (β = .19, p < .01) were significant predictors of subsequent calcium intake (week 4) from dairy. CONCLUSION: Taken together, it appears as though ensuring message content is targeted to the specific population's beliefs and motives is of importance when developing behavioral change intervention material.

publication date

  • February 2017