High mortality rates associated with cancer and cardiovascular disease in Romania have been partly attributed to low fruit consumption. The aim of the present research was to test whether self-incentives delivered via implementation intentions could increase fruit consumption among 238 high-risk Romanian adolescents. Participants were randomly allocated to either: (1) a control condition (asked to plan to increase their fruit intake but given no further instruction), (2) a standard implementation intention condition (asked to form an implementation intention using standard open-ended instructions), or (3) a self-incentivizing implementation intention condition (asked to reward themselves at the end of the week if they had successfully consumed an extra portion of fruit each day). There were significant increases in fruit consumption in the self-incentivizing implementation intention condition, but not in the control condition or—contrary to predictions—in the standard implementation intention condition. The findings support the use of implementation intentions to deliver self-incentives and increase fruit consumption, and suggest that providing children with a structured prompt might enhance the effectiveness of implementation intention-based interventions compared with standard implementation intention instructions.
Prevention Science – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 23, 2013
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