Obesity treatment efforts could be boosted by the recommendation that may see information on eating healthily sent by mail to households in the US.
Researchers at Brown University have called on personalised information on nutrition be posted to homes after research revealed that this was the best way to improve the dietary habits of low-income families from an array of ethnic backgrounds.
The study, to be published in The International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, showed that the Rhode Island participants, half of whom were from Latin America while 13 per cent were Afro-American, responded well to food information sent by post.
Lead author Kim Gans, associate research professor of community health at Brown University and co-director of Brown's Institute for Community Health Promotion, commented: "It's a lot less expensive to send (people) material in the mail than to sit down with them and do multiple counselling sessions over time. And people really liked the materials."
US obesity rates are the highest in the world with 64 per cent of adults classed as overweight or obese.