Comparing Two Strategies to Modify Dietary Behavior and Serum Cholesterol

Document Type



Community and Global Health (CGU)

Publication Date



Medical Nutrition | Medicine and Health Sciences


Aim: To test the hypothesis that a strategy including cholesterol screening and dietary education is more effective than dietary education alone in changing dietary behavior and serum cholesterol levels.

Methods: Individuals at four worksites were enrolled in a randomized trial with a 'full intervention' condition in which subjects were told their serum cholesterol value and also received a dietary change kit (n=236), and a 'partial intervention' condition in which subjects received the same dietary change kit, but were not told their serum cholesterol value (n=284). Individuals (n=115) in two worksites served as a nonrandomized 'untreated control group'. Subjects were tested for serum cholesterol and completed a questionnaire at baseline, and 3 and 6 months later.

Results: Dietary changes occurred in seven of nine categories in individuals subject to the full and partial interventions but in only one of nine categories in those studied in the control condition. Mean dietary intake differed between the full and partial intervention conditions for only three of nine dietary categories. Cholesterol level dropped in the full, partial and control conditions by 4.9, 3.9 and 9,6%, respectively.

Conclusions: Dietary education has favorable effects on the dietary behaviors of individuals. Being told one's cholesterol level at the outset of this educational intervention has little effect on dietary change.

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© 1997 American Medical Association

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