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The growing evidence linking dietary patterns to the incidence and prevention of chronic disease has prompted a number of prominent health and scientific agencies to publish dietary guidelines for the public. Some dietary guidelines address specific diseases, such as cancer or heart disease; others focus on overall health promotion. This situation has created a demand for nutrition education and information programs for the public.
Increasingly, supermarkets are seen as potential sites for effective consumer education. Eat for Health is a joint research study by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and Giant Food Inc., a regional supermarket chain in the Washington-Baltimore area.
The study's goal was to test the feasibility of supermarkets as a site for consumer nutrition education. Eat for Health's educational focus was diet and cancer control issues in the context of dietary patterns that promote health. Particular attention was paid to reduction of fat intake and increases in consumption of dietary fiber from grains, vegetables, and fruits. Analysis of program results is currently underway; data should be available in early 1990.