Food offerings in Marshfield area businesses: A survey conducted in collaboration with the healthy lifestyles - Marshfield area coalition

Catherine A. McCarty, Laura Lee, J. Douglas Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: To survey Marshfield area businesses to determine the types of foods currently available to employees at the workplace and the potential need for nutrition information to facilitate the ordering of healthy food options at workplaces. Methods: A 2-page self-administered questionnaire was mailed to all businesses registered with the Marshfield Area of Chamber of Commerce. Questionnaires were mailed a second time to non-responders to improve the response rate. The questionnaire included items about foods available to employees at the workplace, cooking and eating facilities available to employees, and reasons for food choices made. Data were entered into an Excel spreadsheet, verified against the hard copies and transferred to SPSS for analysis. Results: Completed questionnaires were returned by 249 businesses (41.1% participation). The reported number of minutes that most employees take for their lunch ranged from 0 to 60 (median=30). Eighty-one percent of businesses (n=184) reported that most employees take 30 or more minutes for their lunch. Respondents were asked to list the most common menu items purchased for consumption on-site. One hundred fifteen respondents listed sandwiches (46.2%), 101 listed pizza (40.6%), 30 listed salad (12.0%), and 17 listed various sweets (6.8%). Employees were thought to be less likely than managers to select foods lower in calories if the foods are more expensive. Discussion: There is great potential to improve the health of employees through the provision of nutrition information to businesses. The survey employed in the current study can be used again in the future to track changes after implementation of worksite initiatives through the Business and Industry Committee of the Healthy Lifestyles - Marshfield Area Coalition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)66-69
Number of pages4
JournalWisconsin medical journal
Volume104
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 1 2005

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