Changing short-term purchasing through price promotion and healthy eating advice

Impact of a targeted direct marketing price promotion intervention (Buywell) on food-purchasing behaviour by low income consumers: a randomised controlled trial

Stead et al., JHND Early View unknown-2

Background

Price promotions are a promising intervention for encouraging healthier food purchasing. We aimed to assess the impact of a targeted direct marketing price promotion combined with healthy eating advice and recipe suggestions on the purchase of selected healthier foods by low income consumers.

Methods

We conducted a randomised controlled trial (n = 53 367) of a direct marketing price promotion (Buywell) combined with healthy eating advice and recipe suggestions for low income consumers identified as ‘less healthy’ shoppers. Impact was assessed using electronic point of sale data for UK low income shoppers before, during and after the promotion.

Results

The proportion of customers buying promoted products in the intervention month increased by between 1.4% and 2.8% for four of the five products. There was significantly higher uptake in the promotion month (P < 0.001) for the intervention group than would have been expected on the basis of average uptake in the other months. When product switching was examined for semi-skimmed/skimmed milk, a modest increase (1%) was found in the intervention month of customers switching from full-fat to low-fat milk. This represented 8% of customers who previously bought only full-fat milk. The effects were generally not sustained after the promotion period.

Conclusions

Short-term direct marketing price promotions combined with healthy eating advice and recipe suggestions targeted at low income consumers are feasible and can have a modest impact on short-term food-purchasing behaviour, although further approaches are needed to help sustain these changes.

Disparity in accuracy and actionability of renal advice

Evaluation of the quality and health literacy demand of online renal diet information

Lambert et al Early View unknown

Background

Dietary modification is critical in the self-management of chronic kidney disease. The present study describes the accuracy, quality and health literacy demand of renal diet information for adults with kidney disease obtained from the Internet and YouTube (www.youtube.com).

Methods

A comprehensive content analysis was undertaken in April and July 2015 of 254 eligible websites and 161 YouTube videos. The accuracy of the renal diet information was evaluated by comparing the key messages with relevant evidence-based guidelines for the dietary management of people with kidney disease. The DISCERN tool (www.discern.org.uk) was used to evaluate the quality of the material. Health literacy demand was evaluated using the Patient Education Material Assessment Tool (www.ahrq.gov/professionals/prevention-chronic-care/improve/self-mgmt/pemat/index.html) and seven validated readability calculators.

Results

The most frequent renal diet topic found online was generic dietary information for people with chronic kidney disease. The proportion of renal diet information obtained from websites that was accurate was 73%. However, this information was mostly of poor quality with extensive shortcomings, difficult to action and written with a high health literacy demand. By contrast, renal diet information available from YouTube was highly understandable and actionable, although only 18% of the videos were accurate, and a large proportion were of poor quality with extensive shortcomings. The most frequent authors of accurate, good quality, understandable, material were government bodies, dietitians, academic institutions and medical organisations.

Conclusions

Renal diet information found online that is written by government bodies, dietitians, academic institutions and medical organisations is recommended. Further work is required to improve the quality and, most importantly, the actionability of renal diet information found online.

Usability of electronic food systems in hospital

Technology to engage hospitalised patients in their nutrition care: a qualitative study of usability and patient perceptions of an electronic foodservice system

Roberts et al., Early View unknown

Background

Active patient involvement in nutrition care may improve dietary intakes in hospital. Our team is developing an innovative programme allowing patients to self-assess and self-monitor their nutrition at the bedside. The present study aimed to assess usability and patient perceptions of an electronic foodservice system (EFS) for participating in nutrition care.

Methods

This qualitative study was conducted in an Australian tertiary hospital. Participants were sampled purposively and included patients who were able to provide informed consent and communicate in English. Patient interviews were conducted at the bedside and consisted of: (i) usability testing of the EFS using ‘Think Aloud’ technique and (ii) questioning using a semi-structured interview guide to understand perceptions of the EFS. Interview data were analysed using inductive content analysis.

Results

Thirty-two patients were interviewed. Their perceptions of using the EFS to participate in nutrition care were expressed in five categories: (i) Familiarity with technology can affect confidence and ability but is not essential to use EFS; (ii) User interface design significantly impacts EFS usability; (iii) Identifying benefits to technology increases its acceptance; (iv) Technology enables participation, which occurs to varying extents; and (v) Degree of participation depends on perceived importance of nutrition.

Conclusions

Patients found the EFS acceptable and acknowledged benefits to its use. Several factors appeared to influence usability, acceptability and willingness to engage with the system, such as user interface design and perceived ease of use, benefits and importance. The present study provides important insights into designing technology-based interventions for engaging inpatients in their nutrition care.

A pilot RCT of a pregnancy intervention to prevent allergy in infants.

A pilot randomised controlled trial investigating a Mediterranean diet intervention in pregnant women for the primary prevention of allergic diseases in infants

Sewell et al., JHND Early View unknown-2

Background

Observational studies suggest a potentially protective role of the Mediterranean diet (MD) in allergic diseases, including asthma. Large scale randomised controlled trials (RCTs) are needed to test the hypothesised allergy-prevention benefits of a MD during pregnancy. The present two-arm pilot RCT in pregnant women at high-risk of having a child who would develop allergic disease investigated maternal recruitment, retention and acceptability of an MD dietary intervention in the UK. The trial also assessed the effect of the intervention on MD adherence scores at 12 and at 24 weeks post-randomisation.

Methods

Thirty women were recruited at around 12 weeks of gestation. Retention was high (28 out of 30; 93%). The intervention was acceptable to participants. Mean (SD) adherence to the MD at baseline was 12.4 (2.9) in the intervention arm (n = 14) and 13.0 (1.9) in the control arm (n = 16), where 24 represents maximal adherence. There was a favourable short-term change in MD score: the adjusted mean difference (intervention – control) in the change in MD score from baseline to 12 weeks post-randomisation was 2.4 (95% confidence interval = 0.6–4.2, P = 0.012).

Conclusions

The trial provides important insights into recruitment, retention and sustaining the dietary intervention, which will be used in the design of a large RCT.

Impact of lifestyle change on the cardio- metabolic risk factors of relatives of diabetic subjects

Lifestyle change reduces cardiometabolic risk factors and glucagon-like peptide-1 levels in obese first-degree relatives of people with diabetes

Bowes et al., JHND Early View unknown-2

 

Background

Preventing type 2 diabetes in a real-world setting remains challenging. The present study aimed to assess the effectiveness of a lifestyle-based programme for individuals at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes as assessed by achieved weight loss, cardiovascular risk factors and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1).

Methods

Sixty-six obese individuals with history of diabetes in first-degree relatives participated in an 8-month lifestyle programme consisting of 12 × 1.25 h group education sessions led by dietitian and a weekly exercise programme. Before and after comparisons were made of fasting blood glucose, insulin, HbA1c, lipids, GLP-1 and quality of life (QoL).

Results

Fifty-four participants of whom the majority were women [47 females; mean (SD) body mass index 35.3 (2.8) kg m−2; age = 52 (10) years] completed the 8-month programme. Mean (SD) weight loss was 10.1 (6.0) kg (P < 0.001). Out of 54 participants, 36 lost more than 7% of their body weight and 47 lost more than 5%, with significant improvements in cardiovascular risk factors, glycaemia and QoL scores. The fall was observed in basal (P < 0.05 versus baseline) but not stimulated GLP-1 levels. In the subgroup of participants losing >10 kg, a correlation was found between weight change and change in both basal (r = 0.61, P < 0.05) and stimulated (r = 0.49, P < 0.05) GLP-1.

Conclusions

An evidence-based lifestyle programme achieved sustained weight loss in obese first-degree relatives of individuals with type 2 diabetes associated with improvements in cardiometabolic risk factors and QoL without the ‘voltage drop’ of less benefit commonly seen when moving from the clinical trial experience into the real world.

Mediterranean diet screening tool for the USA

Evaluation of a dietary screener: the Mediterranean Eating Pattern for Americans tool

Cerwinske et al., JHND Early View unknown-1

Background

Evidence exists for an association between accordance with a Mediterranean diet pattern and slower rates of cognitive decline. However, an ‘Americanised’ version of the Mediterranean diet screener is needed to assess accordance in the USA. Thus, the Mediterranean Eating Pattern for Americans (MEPA) tool was developed to assess accordance with a Mediterranean-like food pattern when time is limited. The present study aimed to determine whether the MEPA screener captured the key elements of the Mediterranean diet compared to the more comprehensive food frequency questionnaire (FFQ).

Methods

The study comprised a cross-sectional study in which 70 women completed both the VioScreen™ FFQ (Viocare, Princeton, NJ, USA) electronically and the 16-item MEPA screener, either electronically or by telephone, aiming to evaluate the inter-method reliability of the proposed screener. The convenience sample included patients (n = 49) and healthcare providers (n = 21) recruited from a tertiary care medical centre.

Results

The overall score from the MEPA screener correlated with corresponding overall MEPA FFQ score (ρ = 0.365, P = 0.002). Agreement between screener items and FFQ items was moderate-to-good for berries (κ = 0.47, P < 0.001), nuts (κ = 0.42, P < 0.001), fish (κ = 0.62, P < 0.001) and alcohol (κ = 0.64, P < 0.001), whereas those for olive oil (κ = 0.33, P = 0.001) and green leafy vegetables (κ = 0.36, P = 0.0021) were fair. Usual intakes of potassium, magnesium, vitamin C, saturated fat, selected carotenoids, folate and fibre derived from the FFQ varied with MEPA screener scores in the anticipated directions.

Conclusions

The MEPA screener captures several components of the Mediterranean style pattern, although further testing of the MEPA screener is indicated.

 

Predicting success in a weight loss trial

Using data mining to predict success in a weight loss trial

Batterham et al., JHND Early View unknown

Background

Traditional methods for predicting weight loss success use regression approaches, which make the assumption that the relationships between the independent and dependent (or logit of the dependent) variable are linear. The aim of the present study was to investigate the relationship between common demographic and early weight loss variables to predict weight loss success at 12 months without making this assumption.

Methods

Data mining methods (decision trees, generalised additive models and multivariate adaptive regression splines), in addition to logistic regression, were employed to predict: (i) weight loss success (defined as ≥5%) at the end of a 12-month dietary intervention using demographic variables [body mass index (BMI), sex and age]; percentage weight loss at 1 month; and (iii) the difference between actual and predicted weight loss using an energy balance model. The methods were compared by assessing model parsimony and the area under the curve (AUC).

Results

The decision tree provided the most clinically useful model and had a good accuracy (AUC 0.720 95% confidence interval = 0.600–0.840). Percentage weight loss at 1 month (≥0.75%) was the strongest predictor for successful weight loss. Within those individuals losing ≥0.75%, individuals with a BMI (≥27 kg m–2) were more likely to be successful than those with a BMI between 25 and 27 kg m–2.

Conclusions

Data mining methods can provide a more accurate way of assessing relationships when conventional assumptions are not met. In the present study, a decision tree provided the most parsimonious model. Given that early weight loss cannot be predicted before randomisation, incorporating this information into a post randomisation trial design may give better weight loss results.