Plain language summary
People with severe mental disorders are prone to follow poor dietary choices. Seventy-four participants with severe mental disorders were enrolled in this community-based randomised controlled trial to evaluate changes in fruit and vegetable consumption, as well as changes in their motivation to consume five portions of fruits and vegetables a day. The participants with severe mental disorders in the intervention group participated in a food education programme (DIETMENT) based on the stages of change model to promote the consumption of fruit and vegetables prior to the evaluation. The intervention group showed an increase of 23% in fruit and vegetable consumption when compared to the control group, even though the difference was not statistically significant. The food education programme based on the stages of change model increased motivation, awareness and disposition in participants in the intervention group. In order to identify appropriate strategies for increasing fruit and vegetable consumption in patients with severe mental disorders, there is a need to conduct more robust studies. The results of this study may, however, provide healthcare professionals with a greater understanding of how a food education programme based on the stages of change framework encourages patients with severe mental disorders to consume fruit and vegetables.