PURPOSE: Evaluate the effect of a policy-based, multicomponent workplace diet intervention on young adult employees' diet and health.
DESIGN: A 6-month, single-armed pilot study with before and after assessments.
SETTING: Insurance company in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
PARTICIPANTS: Employees who worked at the company throughout the intervention period were included. Employees were excluded if pregnant, breast-feeding, or following a strict diet.
INTERVENTION: Multicomponent diet intervention: ban of unhealthy foods brought into the premises, free fruit, education, individual advice, and further support.
MEASURES: Mixed-methods approach: Diet-, health-, and work-related measures were assessed quantitatively. The campaign was evaluated quantitatively (via questionnaire) and qualitatively (via semistructured interviews).
ANALYSIS: Changes in measures were analyzed using paired samples t tests. Interviews were analyzed using thematic analysis.
RESULTS: Sixty (75.9%) staff completed all assessments. Males reduced their sugar intake on working days (-8.7% of total energy standard deviation [SD]: 20.1; P value <.01). Systolic blood pressure reduced in males and females (-3.3 SD: 9.9; P value <.05 and -8.0 SD: 7.7; P value <.001, respectively); 85.2% of staff strongly agreed/agreed that they appreciated the healthy eating ethos. This was supported by the qualitative analysis which furthermore suggested that the education, team support, individual advice, and free fruit were beneficial.
CONCLUSION: Influencing workplace policies and offering additional dietary support could lead to meaningful changes in employees' diet and health and may change workplace culture.