The effect of complex workplace dietary interventions on employees dietary behaviours, nutrition knowledge and health status

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Geaney, Fiona
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University College Cork
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Background The growing prevalence and associated burden of diet-related non-communicable diseases is a global public health concern. The environments in which people live and work influences their dietary behaviours. Aim The focus of this thesis was on the effectiveness of complex workplace dietary interventions. The comparative effectiveness of a complex workplace environmental dietary modification intervention and an educational intervention were assessed both alone and in combination relative to a control workplace setting. Methods The systematic review was guided by the PRISMA statement. In a cluster controlled trial, four workplaces were purposively allocated to control, nutrition education alone (Education), environmental dietary modification alone (Environment) and nutrition education and environmental dietary modification (Combined intervention). The interventions were guided by the MRC framework. In the control workplace, data were collected at baseline and follow-up. In the intervention related sub-study, the relationships between nutrition knowledge, diet quality and hypertension were examined. Results The systematic review provided limited evidence. In the FCW study, 850 employees aged 18-64 years were recruited at baseline with N(response rate %) in each workplace as follows: Control: 111(72%), Education: 226(71%), Environment: 113(91%), Combined intervention: 400(61%). Complete follow-up data was obtained for 517 employees (61%). There were significant positive changes in dietary intakes of saturated fat(p=0.013), salt(p=0.010) and nutrition knowledge(p=0.034) between baseline and follow-up at 7-9 months in the combined intervention versus the control workplace in the fully adjusted multivariate analysis. Small but significant changes in BMI(-1.2kg/m2 (p=0.047) were also observed in the combined intervention. In the sub-study, nutrition knowledge was positively significantly associated with diet quality and blood pressure but no evidence of a mediation effect of the DASH score was detected between nutrition knowledge and blood pressure. Conclusion This thesis provides critical evidence on the effectiveness of complex workplace dietary interventions in a manufacturing working population.
Nutrition education , Complex workplace dietary interventions , Cluster controlled trial , Systematic review , Environmental dietary modification
Geaney, F. 2015. The effect of complex workplace dietary interventions on employees dietary behaviours, nutrition knowledge and health status. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.