Food use and nutrient intake at worksite canteen or in packed lunches at work among Finnish employees

University of Helsinki, Department of Public Health, FI-00014 Helsinki, Finland
Journal of Foodservice 11/2009; 20(6):330 - 341. DOI: 10.1111/j.1748-0159.2009.00157.x


Finnish employees have lunch at worksite canteens or have packed lunch, but the nutritional quality of neither is known. We investigated the food use and nutrient intake of Finnish employees who eat either at worksite canteens vis-à-vis those who eat packed lunches. Dietary data were collected by a 48-hour-dietary-recall in the FINDIET 2002 survey. Employed Finns aged 25–64 years were included (n = 261). Men ate more fresh vegetables and salad dressing at the canteen than in packed lunches. Women consumed more fresh vegetables, vegetable foods and fish dishes at canteens. Among men, energy, vitamin A and carotenoid intake from canteen lunches were higher than from packed lunches. Among women, the canteen users got more energy and fat, but fewer carbohydrates and less sugar and fibre. Even though the nutritional differences in the meals eaten at different places were modest, eating at the canteen improved the diets of employees by increasing their vegetable intake.

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Available from: Eva Roos, Oct 07, 2014
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    • "In Finland, a healthier diet, e.g. eating more vegetables, has been found to be associated with eating regularly at a worksite canteen (Lallukka et al., 2001; Roos et al., 2004; Raulio et al., 2009). "
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose – 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. Design/methodology/approach – 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 analyzed by multiple logistic regression models. Findings – 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. Originality/value – 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.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2012 · International Journal of Workplace Health Management
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    • "Among women, the canteen users got more energy and fat, but fewer carbohydrates and less sugar and fibre. The nutritional differences in the meals eaten at worksite canteens compared to packed lunches were quite modest, but there is quite strong evidence that eating at canteens increases the vegetable intake (Raulio et al., 2009). Employees in large workplaces are more likely to eat at worksite canteens. "
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to review national experiences and policy initiatives within worksite eating in four Nordic countries, in order to compare the experiences and identify important lessons and needs for future research, experiments and governmental regulation. Design/methodology/approach – The paper is based on national reviews of analyses of worksite eating and initiatives regarding policy, research and experiments in relation to worksite eating. The national experiences are compared. Findings – The paper shows awareness in all four countries about the role of the worksite in the shaping of dietary habits of the employees and some experiments with healthier worksite eating schemes. Blue-collar employees, employees with working hours outside normal working hours and employees with shifting worksites are likely to be offered less organised and less healthy food schemes. Worksites' experiments with healthier worksite eating schemes based on employee participation can change worksite eating substantially, including at blue-collar worksites. However, the generalising of findings to other worksites not participating in the experiments seems limited. There is need for more research in the embedding of experiments. Originality/value – The paper has value as the first cross-national review covering four of the Nordic countries in the area of worksite eating and attempts to create healthier worksite eating. By combining research findings and policy initiatives from four countries, the paper gives access to a big pool of knowledge, which can inspire future research and policy initiatives, including future experiments and future governmental regulation.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2010 · International Journal of Workplace Health Management
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose – The purpose of this study is to explore the influence of an office canteen layout on operations, specifically on customer behaviour before checkout, waiting times, and congestion. Design/methodology/approach – The current study was made in the context of discovery and exemplification. The sample was not randomly obtained: the method of recruitment was purposive and convenient. Two Dutch office canteens were selected based on their motivation to participate in the study. A small exploratory study aiming to report on current practices and to inform on possibilities for future research and intervention. With direct observations the behaviour, waiting times, and congestion of 47 customers were analyzed. Customer behaviour was reported qualitatively, waiting times and congestion were reported quantitatively. Findings – Canteens where customers can move freely before checkout queue, allow them to move away from congestion towards food products and to have more favourable waiting times than customers in canteens with layouts requiring a strict order and line-up for self-service and checkout. Practical implications – The results contribute to the managerial repertoire of facilities managers by illuminating latent positive influences of facility layout on operations, which can stimulate the design of better facilities. Originality/value – This paper contributes to the understanding of how facilities are interwoven with operations. It also informs on possibilities for future research in this area, for instance, combining approaches that originate from facilities management and operations management. This may lead to future research to recommend specific designs or behaviour-inducing layouts for increased operational enhancements.
    No preview · Article · May 2011 · Journal of Facilities Management