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ShopSmart 4 Health – Protocol of a skills-based randomised controlled trial promoting fruit and vegetable consumption among socioeconomically disadvantaged women

Kylie Ball1*, Sarah A McNaughton1, Ha Le2, Nick Andrianopoulos1, Victoria Inglis3, Briohny McNeilly1, Irene Lichomets1, Alba Granados1 and David Crawford1

Author Affiliations

1 Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research, Deakin University, Burwood Hwy, Burwood, Victoria, 3125, Australia

2 Deakin Health Economics, Deakin University, Burwood Hwy, Burwood, Victoria, 3125, Australia

3 Murray Goulbourn Co-operative Co. Ltd., Victoria, Parkville, 3052, Australia

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BMC Public Health 2013, 13:466  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-466

Published: 14 May 2013



There is a need for evidence on the most effective and cost-effective approaches for promoting healthy eating among groups that do not meet dietary recommendations for good health, such as those with low incomes or experiencing socioeconomic disadvantage. This paper describes the ShopSmart 4 Health study, a randomised controlled trial conducted by Deakin University, Coles Supermarkets and the Heart Foundation, to investigate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a skill-building intervention for promoting increased purchasing and consumption of fruits and vegetables amongst women of low socioeconomic position (SEP).


ShopSmart 4 Health employed a randomised controlled trial design. Women aged 18–60 years, holding a Coles store loyalty card, who shopped at Coles stores within socioeconomically disadvantaged neighbourhoods and met low-income eligibility criteria were invited to participate. Consenting women completed a baseline survey assessing food shopping and eating habits and food-related behaviours and attitudes. On receipt of their completed survey, women were randomised to either a skill-building intervention or a wait-list control condition. Intervention effects will be evaluated via self-completion surveys and using supermarket transaction sales data, collected at pre- and post-intervention and 6-month follow-up. An economic evaluation from a societal perspective using a cost-consequences approach will compare the costs and outcomes between intervention and control groups. Process evaluation will be undertaken to identify perceived value and effects of intervention components.


This study will provide data to address the currently limited evidence base regarding the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of skill-building intervention strategies aimed at increasing fruit and vegetable consumption among socioeconomically disadvantaged women, a target group at high risk of poor diets.

Trial registration

Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN48771770

Nutrition intervention; Randomised controlled trial; Socioeconomic disadvantage