Evaluation of the effectiveness of a brief practical food based intervention to measure participant’s understanding of portion sizes and to increase their confidence to achieve 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a-day
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Introduction: Evidence shows that consuming a diet with 5 or more portions of FV a-day reduces the risk of developing a NCD. Despite this, intakes in the UK typically do not achieve 5 portions. Studies have suggested that intakes are low due to a poor understanding of the 5 a-day message heightened by the fact that populations cannot accurately serve a portion of FV. The aim of the study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a brief practical food based intervention to measure participants understanding of portion sizes and to increase their confidence to achieve 5 portions of FV a day. Method: The present study uses an experimental pre-test post-test design, in which participants were opportunistically recruited from the researcher’s friends and family. A research led questionnaire was administrated to the participants before and after the practical intervention, in which participants had to measure out a portion of juice, peas, tinned fruit and broccoli. Participants had their estimates compared to the NHS recommended portion sizes. Results: Participants (n=24) were skewed towards young males (18-34 years old). Participants in the 18-64 age group of the present study had an intake lower than the NDNS 19-64 age group (3.6 vs 4.1). Understanding of the 5 a-day message was poor, as the study population overestimated all 4 FV. The intervention increased the study population’s confidence by a rating of 1.15 (p=0.009). Discussion: In conclusion, the study adds to the literature that there is a lack of understanding of portion sizes. The practical intervention successfully increased participant’s confidence, and could potentially be implemented throughout the UK targeted at the young male population
BSc (Hons) Public Health Nutrition
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