Eating patterns and factors influencing likely change in the workplace in ireland
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Fleming, S (1997). Eating patterns and factors influencing likely change in the workplace in ireland. Health Promotion International 12 (3), 187-196
The main aim of this study was to obtain a profile of the dietary behaviors of workers and to explore possible barriers to change. A self-administered, questionnaire was completed by 2528 people employed in seven work-sites in the industrial, educational and health sectors. The results of the food frequency section are reported here related to sex, social class and age. The response rate was 69% industry, 91% health sector and 48% education. Comparisons were analysed for statistical significance using the chi-square test as appropriate. The consumption of fish was generally low: 16% ate fish only rarely. The consumption of fried foods was higher than expected and the consumption of fruit and vegetables fell short of nutritional guidelines. There were a number of significant differences between men and women in frequency of consumption of meat, fresh fruit, vegetables, whole milk and fried foods. A direct association was found between social class and consumption of red meat, poultry, fish and fruit and an inverse association between social class and frequency of consumption of processed meats, butter and milk. Older men were more likely, than younger men, to consume poultry, fish and lower fat milk. More women than men were satisfied that their diets were healthy. Men chiefly cited a lack of nutritional information as a barrier to change. The obstacle predominantly selected by women was the preferences of family members. Finance was not a factor. Interest in dietary change was especially evident in men in their 30s. Relationships were also noted between diet and lifestyle generally. Vegetarians (3% of the total sample) were predominantly female, under 30 and students. They were more likely to smoke than non-vegetarians of the same age. Health was not a motive. In conclusion, there is evidence that dietary targets are not being met and the reasons for this vary according to age, sex and social class.