Association of Employees' Meal Skipping Patterns with Workplace Food Purchases, Dietary Quality, and Cardiometabolic Risk: A Secondary Analysis from the ChooseWell 365 Trial.

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Publisher: Elsevier Science Publishers
Document Type: Report
Length: 729 words

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Keywords Meal skipping; Dietary quality; Obesity; Diabetes; Employee Abstract Background Employed adults may skip meals due to time or financial constraints, challenging work schedules, or limited workplace food choices. Little is known about the relationship between employees' meal skipping patterns and workplace dietary choices and health. Objective To examine whether hospital employees' meal skipping patterns were associated with workplace food purchases, dietary quality, and cardiometabolic risk factors (ie, obesity, hypertension, and prediabetes/diabetes). Design This is a secondary cross-sectional analysis of baseline data from the ChooseWell 365 randomized controlled trial. Employees reported meal-skipping frequency in a baseline survey. The healthfulness of workplace food purchases was determined with a validated Healthy Purchasing Score (HPS) (range = 0 to 100 where higher scores = healthier purchases) calculated using sales data for participants' purchases in the 3 months before study enrollment. Dietary quality was measured with the 2015 Healthy Eating Index (range = 0 to 100 where higher score = healthier diet) from two 24-hour recalls. Cardiometabolic risk factors were ascertained from clinic measurements. Participants/setting Participants were 602 hospital employees who regularly visited workplace cafeterias and enrolled in ChooseWell 365, a workplace health promotion study in Boston, MA, during 2016-2018. Main outcome measures Primary outcomes were HPS, 2015 Healthy Eating Index, and cardiometabolic risk factors. Statistical analyses Regression analyses examined differences in HPS, 2015 Healthy Eating Index, and cardiometabolic variables by meal skipping frequency, adjusting for demographic characteristics. Results Participants' mean (standard deviation) age was 43.6 (12.2) years and 478 (79%) were women. Overall, 45.8% skipped breakfast, 36.2% skipped lunch, and 24.9% skipped dinner [greater than or equal to] 1 day/week. Employees who skipped breakfast [greater than or equal to] 3 days/week (n = 102) had lower HPS (65.1 vs 70.4; P Conclusions Skipping meals was associated with less healthy food purchases at work, and skipping breakfast was associated with lower dietary quality. Future research to understand employees' reasons for skipping meals may inform how employers could support healthier dietary intake at work. Author Affiliation: (1) Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts (2) Mongan Institute Health Policy Research Center, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts (3) Center for Genomic Medicine and Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts (4) Department of Nutrition and Food Services, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts (5) Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts (6) Department of Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard University, Channing Division of Network Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Woman's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts * Address correspondence to: Anne N. Thorndike, MD, MPH, Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, 100 Cambridge St, Boston, MA 02114. Article History: Received 17 February 2021; Accepted 26 August 2021 (footnote) Supplementary materials: and are available at www.jandonline.org(http://www.jandonline.org) (footnote) STATEMENT OF POTENTIAL CONFLICT OF INTEREST No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors. (footnote) FUNDING/SUPPORT This work was funded by the NIH R01 grants HL125486 and DK114735. The project was also supported by NIH grant No. 1UL1TR001102. (footnote) AUTHOR CONTRIBUTIONS A. N. Thorndike, E. B. Rimm, and D. E. Levy designed the research; A. N. Thorndike, D. E. Levy, E. Gelsomin, E. Anderson, and J. L. McCurley conducted research; J. L. McCurley, A. N. Thorndike, and D. E. Levy analyzed data; J. L. McCurley and A. N. Thorndike wrote the manuscript; R. Sonnenblick critically reviewed and synthesized literature to guide manuscript development; A. N. Thorndike had primary responsibility for final content. All authors read and approved the final manuscript. Byline: Jessica L. McCurley, PhD, MPH (1), Douglas E. Levy, PhD, MPH (2), Hassan S. Dashti, PhD, RD (3), Emily Gelsomin, MLA, RD, LDN (4), Emma Anderson, BA (5), Ross Sonnenblick, BA (5), Eric B. Rimm, ScD (6), Anne N. Thorndike, MD, MPH [athorndike@mgh.harvard.edu] (1,*)

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A686979916