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Fat watch: A nationwide campaign in the Netherlands to reduce fat intake-effect evaluation

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Author: Wechem, S.N. van · Brug, J. · Assema, P. van · Kistemaker, C. · Riedstra, M. · Löwik, M.R.H.
Institution: Centraal Instituut voor Voedingsonderzoek TNO TNO Voeding
Source:Nutrition and Health, 2, 12, 119-130
Identifier: 234845
Keywords: Nutrition · Fat consumption · Psycho social determinants · Attitude to health · Diet · Epidemiology · Fat intake · Feeding behavior · Health care quality · Organization and management · Bias (Epidemiology) · Diet Surveys · Dietary Fats · Food Habits · Health Education · Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice · Health Promotion · Humans · Netherlands · Program Evaluation · Questionnaires


In the Netherlands, the nationwide Fat Watch campaign aiming at a reduction in fat consumption was organized from 1991 onwards. This study describes the effects of the first three consecutive campaign years on attention to fat, diet and health, attitudes, self-efficacy expectations and intentions related to dietary fat reduction, and self-rated fat intake. Data were collected each year according to the Solomon design, by telephone interviews among about 1200 consumers responsible for household purchases. Campaign awareness was high in each campaign year, but a decrease in campaign awareness was found after the first campaign in 1991. The 1991 campaign was primarily aimed at getting the attention of the Dutch public for the fat-reduction message and indeed resulted in increased attention. The second campaign year resulted in small but statistically significant positive changes in attitudes, which was the specific target of the 1992 campaign. Intention to buy low-fat food products was also significantly increased. The 1993 campaign failed to realize the targeted increases in self-efficacy among the study population, but a significant campaign effect on intentions was found. The evaluation of all three campaigns indicated that the Dutch underestimate their personal fat intake and this has been identified as an important barrier to a further reduction in fat consumption. Making subjects aware of their personal fat consumption will be given priority in future campaigns. Chemicals/CAS: Dietary Fats