While online diet and nutrition sites are popular, a team in Holland reported that members may exaggerate the programme's results. To test the theory, scientists use a blood test to see if computer-tailored programmes actually helped tackle fat.
Out of 442 healthy Dutch adults, a computer program aimed at reducing saturated fat intake had no effect on the blood values. A team from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Maastricht University, and Erasmus University tested blood lipids (total, HDL, and LDL cholesterol and triglycerides) for an accurate health reading.
Drs. Willemieke Kroeze, PhD, and Johannes Brug, PhD, from the Vrije Universiteit, said:"Computer- tailored intervention with a single dose, aimed at reduction of (saturated) fat intake, for which meaningful effects based on self-reports have been reported, was not sufficient to produce detectable changes in blood lipids in the current study."
They believe that while people may learn good behaviours, they are still over-estimating portion sizes and fat content.