Incorporating prototyping and iteration into intervention development: A case study of a dining hall-based intervention

Arianna D. McClain, Eric B. Hekler, Christopher D. Gardner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Background: Previous research from the fields of computer science and engineering highlight the importance of an iterative design process (IDP) to create more creative and effective solutions. Objective: This study describes IDP as a new method for developing health behavior interventions and evaluates the effectiveness of a dining hall-based intervention developed using IDP on college students eating behavior and values. Participants: participants were 458 students (52.6% female, age = 19.6 ± 1.5 years [M ± SD]). Methods: The intervention was developed via an IDP parallel process. A cluster-randomized controlled study compared differences in eating behavior among students in 4 university dining halls (2 intervention, 2 control). Results: The final intervention was a multicomponent, point-of-selection marketing campaign. Students in the intervention dining halls consumed significantly less junk food and high-fat meat and increased their perceived importance of eating a healthful diet relative to the control group. Conclusion: IDP may be valuable for the development of behavior change interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)122-131
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of American College Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2013


  • college students
  • healthy eating
  • intervention development
  • iterative design process

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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