Worksite nutrition educators and researchers need not only nutrient composition data but also information on employees' food choices to create intervention messages that are food-focused and tailored to specific target audiences. This paper describes a method of calculating measures of food choice behavior related to intervention messages and reports relationships between workers' food choices and demographic characteristics. This work was conducted as part of the Working Well Trial, a 5-year worksite cancer prevention randomized, controlled prospective field experiment funded by the National Cancer Institute. It was implemented in 114 worksites employing 37,291 workers who were engaged in a variety of businesses. In the fall of 1990, 20,801 respondents completed and returned a self-administered baseline survey. A modified Block 88-item food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) with portion sizes was used for the quantitative assessment both of nutrient intake and workers' food choices. The worksite mean response rate was 71.6%. Responses to behavioral items regarding meat were used to measure meat preparation behaviors not captured on the FFQ. We found that higher education, greater age, and female gender were associated with food choices closest to the recommendations to increase fiber, fruits, and vegetables and to reduce fat. An exception to this pattern was the recommendation to increase the consumption of beans and lentils, which was associated with lower education, greater age, and male gender. The relationship of job status to the food choice variables was inconsistent across foods and study centers and there were differences between study centers in the magnitude of associations between food choices and demographic characteristics.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Nutrition and Dietetics