This paper was based on collaborative research efforts from Wageningen University and the University Medical Centre St Radboud in The Netherlands and describes the rationale for web-based nutrition counselling applications in general practice as well as some of the frequently used models and theories (predominantly the Stages of Change Model). General practitioners can play an important role in cardiovascular risk reduction by giving nutrition counselling to patients at elevated cardiovascular risk. Unfortunately, general practitioners perceive barriers that may limit their nutrition counselling practices. Some of these barriers may be overcome using computer and Internet technologies. Computerized reminders for preventive services, and websites with reliable high-quality information may prove to be valuable additions to usual care. Cooperation with dieticians may also lead to improvements in nutrition counselling in general practice. For example, general practitioners could use their unique position to create awareness and motivation among patients. They could subsequently refer motivated patients to dieticians for detailed personal dietary advice. © 2005 Nature Publishing Group. All rights reserved.