Worksite dining as a collective good or individualization of health - a Danish perspective

Michael Søgaard Jørgensen, Bent Egberg Mikkelsen, Anne Vibeke Thorsen

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Abstract

The paper is based on a survey of Danish literature about worksite eating carried out as a part of the project ‘Food at work around the clock?’ carried by Lunds University and Technical University of Denmark and financed by Øresund Food Network. The focus has especially been on the relations between work and diet and the experiences with promotion of healthier eating through intervention projects at worksites. The overall results of the survey shows that there is not much Danish research about the influence of the work and the work environment on eating habits, including worksite eating. The few analyses which have been conducted show that negative and long-term stress, where the employee lack influence and control on own work may cause health problems and changes in body weight, so that slim persons become slimmer and the obese become more obese. A small interview survey shows that the type and the organization of work influence how the worksite eating is organized. Especially in the service sector it is difficult for the employees to eat at the same time. The eating schedule is negotiated among the employees according to the needs of the individual employee. An area with Danish research is the influence of the worksite eating on work and work environment. The survey showed social inequalities in relation to health, like in many other countries. A national dietary survey has shown that persons with long education eat more health and is more interested in health food. Research is also showing a correlation between diet and other aspects of life style: if a person has health dietary habits it is more likely that the person also has a high level of physical activity, does not smoke and does not have a high consumption of alcohol.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2009
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

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