UC Study: Dietary Education Leads to Healthier Lives

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The study results show that:

  1. In-store, individualized educational tours conducted by a supermarket-based dietitian improve dietary quality in a continuous manner.

  2. Education and training on online shopping, home delivery and nutrition applications further improves dietary quality.

  3. Clinical trials can be executed with superb quality, even in community-based populations, using thoughtful designs and the retail store’s physical and technological infrastructure.

“The retail industry, including supermarkets and grocery stores, have long had enormous potential to expand the reach of traditional health care systems into communities, offering access, convenience and a customer-centric approach,” said Dylan Steen, MD, director of Clinical Trials and Population Health Research in the Division of Cardiovascular Health and Disease at the UC College of Medicine and a UC Health cardiologist.

“For problems like the massive, unaddressed issues of poor dietary quality and increasing obesity, this industry may also serve as the ideal environment to deliver dietary education interventions,” Steen adds. “SuperWIN is the first clinical trial to be successfully executed in a gold-standard fashion, under a partnership between a diverse academic group of investigators and a large supermarket chain.”

The SuperWIN study is the result of a partnership, years in the making, to study novel interventions to improve food purchase and dietary intake quality.

Results of the study showed improved adherence to the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, or DASH, diet. The study participants included 247 UC Health primary care patients with at least one of three cardiovascular risk factors —obesity, hypertension and/or high cholesterol. All study visits were conducted within Kroger supermarkets.

Participants first completed a medical nutrition therapy visit with a Kroger Health dietitian. Patients eligible to participate in the study were then randomized into one of three study groups.

The results of the study showed, on average, participants in the group who engaged with a Kroger Health dietitian for an on-site individualized education and shopping practice session had a greater increase in their adherence to a DASH diet than the control group.

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