Environmental interventions as labeling of healthy foods and an increased availability of healthy foods may help consumers to meet the guidelines for a healthy diet. This article describes a study into the effectiveness of two environmental programs to be used in worksite cafeterias along with an educational program. The aim of the interventions was to reduce fat intake and increase fruit and vegetable intake. In the 'Labeling Program', low fat products were labeled. The 'Food Supply Program' comprised an increased availability of low-fat products and fruits and vegetables in worksite cafeterias. The 'Educational Program' consisted of information about healthy nutrition through brochures, table tents, a self help manual and posters. The design consisted of a pretest-posttest experimental control group design, with four conditions: the Educational Program, the Food Supply Program plus Educational Program, the Labeling Program plus Educational Program and a control group. Seventeen worksites were randomly assigned to one of the four research conditions. Total fat, fruit, and vegetable intake was measured with a quantitative, self-administered food frequency questionnaire (35 questions). Intake during lunch was measured by asking respondents to write down which food items they had purchased during their last lunch in the cafeteria. Furthermore, sales data for some targeted product categories were collected (milk, butter, cheese, meat products, desserts). For the whole study population, no significant effects on consumption data were found for any of the programs. The data showed a beneficial significant treatment effect of the Labeling Program on total fat intake, for respondents who believe they eat a high fat diet. Sales data revealed a significant effect of the labeling program on desserts, but not for the other products.

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Department of Psychology

Steenhuis, I. H. M., van Assema, P., van Breukelen, G., Glanz, K., Kok, G., & de Vries, H. (2004). The impact of educational and environmental interventions in Dutch worksite cafeterias. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/1891