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Healthy eating strategies in the workplace

Lisa Quintiliani (General Internal Medicine, Boston University Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts, USA)
Signe Poulsen (Section for Innovation and Sustainability, Department of Management Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark)
Glorian Sorensen (Department of Society, Human Development and Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA Center for Community‐Based Research, Dana‐Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts, USA)

International Journal of Workplace Health Management

ISSN: 1753-8351

Article publication date: 28 September 2010

2986

Abstract

Purpose

There is a clear link between dietary behavior and a range of chronic diseases, and overweight and obesity constitute an indirect risk in relation to these diseases. The worksite is a central venue for influencing dietary behavior. The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of workplace influences on workers' dietary patterns.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper reviews the evidence of the effectiveness of dietary health promotion, and provides a brief overview of appropriate theoretical frameworks to guide intervention design and evaluation. The findings are illustrated through research examples.

Findings

Through case studies and published research, it is found that workplace dietary interventions are generally effective, especially fruit and vegetable interventions. There is less consistent evidence on the long‐term effectiveness of workplace weight management interventions, underscoring the need for further research in this area. This paper also reports evidence that changes in the work environment, including through health and safety programs, may contribute to enhancing the effectiveness of workplace health promotion, including dietary interventions. Organizational factors such as work schedule may also influence dietary patterns. The social ecological model, the social contextual model and political process approach are presented as exemplar conceptual models that may be useful when designing or assessing the effects of workplace health promotion.

Originality/value

The paper shows that using the worksite as a setting for influencing health by influencing dietary patterns holds considerable promise and may be instrumental in reducing workers' risk of developing chronic diseases.

Keywords

Citation

Quintiliani, L., Poulsen, S. and Sorensen, G. (2010), "Healthy eating strategies in the workplace", International Journal of Workplace Health Management, Vol. 3 No. 3, pp. 182-196. https://doi.org/10.1108/17538351011078929

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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