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Effects of an Evidence-Informed Healthy Eating Blog on Dietary Intakes and Food-Related Behaviors of Mothers of Preschool- and School-Aged Children: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Dumas, Audrée-Anne, Lemieux, Simone, Lapointe, Annie, Provencher, Véronique, Robitaille, Julie, Desroches, Sophie
Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 2020 v.120 no.1 pp. 53-68
adults, advertising, body weight, communications technology, dietitians, e-mail, food intake, fruits, health behavior, healthy diet, milk, mothers, nutritional adequacy, randomized clinical trials, school children, social networks, vegetables, Quebec
Although social media such as blogs are still considered innovative communication technologies, some registered dietitians (RDs) are using them to promote healthy eating; however, evidence regarding the effects of healthy eating blogs on users’ diet is lacking.This study evaluated the effects of an evidence-informed healthy eating blog written by an RD on dietary intakes, with a focus on vegetables and fruit and milk and alternatives consumption, and food-related behaviors of Canadian mothers.This study was a parallel, randomized, controlled trial.Data were collected from 84 French-speaking adult mothers of children aged between 2 and 12 years living in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada, who were recruited between October 2015 and February 2017 using institutional e-mail lists, flyers, newspapers, social media advertisements, and word of mouth.The intervention was exclusively delivered through an evidence-informed healthy eating blog—integrating theory-based intervention methods to improve diet quality by increasing vegetables and fruit and milk and alternatives consumption in mothers—for 6 months at a dose of one new post written by an RD each week. Mothers could engage with the RD and fellow participants by posting comments on the blog.Main outcomes were daily intakes of vegetables and fruit and milk and alternatives. Outcome assessments were performed at baseline, 3 months, and at the end of the 6-month intervention.Differences between the groups were examined using mixed linear models.At 6 months, no significant difference was observed between groups for intakes of vegetables and fruit (P=0.923), milk and alternatives (P=0.271), or food-related behaviors and body weight (P=0.180).A healthy eating blog, at a dose of 1 post per week, had no effects on dietary intakes, food-related behaviors, and body weight of mothers after 6 months. Methodologic issues are discussed to inform future health behavior research using blogs to promote healthy eating.