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Employees prefer information more than free food

Tamara D. Street (Wesley Medical Research, Brisbane, Australia)
Sarah J. Lacey (Wesley Medical Research, Brisbane, Australia)
Jade A. Grambower (Wesley Medical Research, Brisbane, Australia)

International Journal of Workplace Health Management

ISSN: 1753-8351

Article publication date: 7 August 2017



Nutrition behaviours have been linked to an increased risk of poor health and reduced productivity at work. Therefore, the workplace is a logical setting to implement nutrition-related programmes. Many existing workplace health promotion programmes (WHPPs) employ a standardised approach that typically attracts those who are already healthy or highly motivated to change. Understanding the factors that influence an individual’s desire to improve health and participate in nutrition WHPP will facilitate the development of highly engaging programmes that appeal to the greatest number of workers. The paper aims to discuss these issues.


In all, 881 employees of an Australian mining company participated in a self-report health survey aimed at investigating employee predictors of desire to improve personal nutrition, desire for assistance with improving personal nutrition, and intention to participate in nutrition WHPPs.


Overall, females and older employees were most likely to intend to participate, with group information sessions garnering the widest appeal to employees.

Practical implications

The findings suggest that practitioners ought to include a group-based educational component designed to increase awareness particularly to employees who are nutritionally deficient and unlikely to voluntarily participate in strategies.


The innovative psychosocial research findings and recommendations outlined herein may be applied immediately to increase employee participation in workplace nutrition strategies.



The authors acknowledge the corporate and community supporters who donated to Wesley Medical Research to advance health and medical research and fund this research. The funders were not involved in the study design or submission.


Street, T.D., Lacey, S.J. and Grambower, J.A. (2017), "Employees prefer information more than free food", International Journal of Workplace Health Management, Vol. 10 No. 4, pp. 332-342.



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