Promoting Healthy Choices in Workplace Cafeterias: A Qualitative Study

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Abstract

Objectives:

To develop 3 point-of-choice campaigns to influence food choice in workplace cafeterias.

Design:

Eight focus groups were conducted to guide campaign development.

Setting:

Focus groups were conducted in the workplace.

Participants:

University employees (n = 36) aged 23–58 years (mean, 33.8 years).

Phenomenon of Interest:

To explore ways to prompt changes in behavior.

Analysis:

Transcripts were analyzed using thematic analysis.

Results:

This study identified calories and saturated fat as information that would have the greatest influence on food selection. Participants want this information at the time the choice is made. Participants reported limited time to eat at work, so converting nutrient density per 100 g or per serving to per portion consumed from point-of-choice labels was not a priority. Participants said that they have more time to read information in places where they line up for food, so at this point they are more open to persuasive messages. Effective messages urge the reader to take immediate action and explain why they should choose the behavior and how it will help them achieve health.

Conclusions and Implications:

Point-of-choice campaigns were well received, but factors such as cost, time, and availability of healthy food at work may shape choices to a greater extent than nutrition information.

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