Monday, 8 October 2012

Sociodemographic and work-related variation in employees’ lunch eating patterns

an article by Susanna Raulio and Ritva Prättälä (National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland) and Eva Roos, (Folkhälsan Research Center, Helsinki and University of Helsinki) published in International Journal of Workplace Health Management Volume 5 Issue 3 (2012)


This study aims to examine the availability of worksite canteens to Finnish employees, and the associations between canteen availability and the employee’s sociodemographic background and workplace characteristics. A further aim was to study the employees’ lunch place choices according to the sociodemographic factors of the employees and the characteristics of the workplace when a worksite canteen is available.
Data were obtained from cross-sectional health surveys among Finnish adults in 2005-2007. A total of 2,659 male and 2,926 female employed Finns – except farmers – ranging in age from 19 to 64 were chosen for the analyses from the surveys. The data were analysed by multiple logistic regression models.
A worksite canteen was available for 70 percent of female and 60 percent of male employees, and more often to employees with higher education and in a higher occupational class and to those working at bigger workplaces. If a canteen was not available, employees mostly ate packed lunches. Roughly 50 percent of those who had a worksite canteen available ate there; employees in a higher occupational class did so more often than the others. Even when a canteen was available, people with lower education or in a lower occupational class preferred packed lunches.
Practical implications
The frequency of using worksite canteens could be influenced not only by means related to individual choices, but also by improving the structural conditions at work – like unavailability of worksite canteen – that is found to pose barrier to canteen use.
No previous study of this kind has been done, even though it has been observed that worksite canteen meals are important for the nutrition, health, and productivity of Finnish employees.

No comments: