This study aimed to determine the effects of the interventions of Isfahan Healthy Heart Program (IHHP) on the type of oil consumed at the population level. It also tried to assess how this strategy has been effective as a health policy.
The IHHP, a six-year community intervention program (2001-07), aimed at health promotion through the modification of cardiovascular disease risk factors. It was performed in Isfahan and Najafabad counties (intervention area) and Arak county (reference area), all in central Iran. This study targeted the whole population of over 2,000,000 in the intervention area. The findings of annual independent sample surveys were compared with the reference area. Dietary interventions were performed as educational, environmental, and/or legislative strategies.
From 2001 to 2007, the mean of changes for hydrogenated oil consumption was -3.2 and -3.6, and for liquid oil it was 3.6 and 2.8 times per week in the intervention and reference areas, respectively (P < 0.001). According to Commerce office record, the increase in liquid oil distribution during 2000-2007 was significantly higher in Isfahan than Arak (34% vs. 25%).
The effects of the simple, comprehensive, and integrated action-oriented interventions of our program could influence policy making and its results at the community level. It can be adopted by other developing countries.