Emails and automated letters that provide personalized feedback related to coffee shop purchases at work can help employees make healthier food decisions. This is the conclusion of a new study led by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and published in JAMA network open.
As many adults spend half (and sometimes more) of their waking hours working, the workplace offers a unique opportunity to promote health with programs aimed at obesity, unhealthy diets, and other chronic disease risk factors. and premature death.
Based on the findings of previous studies, the researchers designed the ChooseWell 365 clinical trial to test a customized, automated 12-month process. behavioral intervention to prevent weight gain and improve the diet of hospital employees. For the trial, 602 MGH employees who regularly used the hospital cafeterias were randomized to an intervention group or control group. For one year, intervention group participants received two emails a week that included comments on their previous coffee shop purchases and offer personalized advice on health and lifestyle. They also received a letter a month with comparisons of their purchases with those of their peers, as well as financial incentives for healthier purchases. Control participants received one letter a month with general information about the healthy lifestyle.
“This new workplace strategy was fully automated and did not require people to take time off work to participate, making it ideal for busy hospital employees,” explains lead author Anne N. Thorndike, MD, MPH, researcher in the General Division of Internal Medicine at MGH and associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.
Participants in the intervention group they increased their healthy food purchases in the cafeteria to a greater extent than participants in the control group. They also bought fewer calories per day. These differences were observed for one year intervention as well as for one year of additional evaluations. However, there were no differences between the groups in terms of weight change at 12 or 24 months.
“Few previous workplace studies have been able to make sustained changes in employees’ dietary decisions, ”says Thorndike. “This study provides evidence that food purchase data can be leveraged to deliver large-scale health promotion interventions.”
Anne N. Thorndike et al, Automatic behavioral workplace intervention to prevent weight gain and improve diet, JAMA network open (2021). DOI: 10.1001 / jamanetworkopen.2021.12528
Massachusetts General Hospital
Citation: Comments on Cafeteria Purchases Help Employees Make Healthier Food Decisions (2021, June 7) Retrieved June 7, 2021 at https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-06-feedback-cafe- employees-healthier-food.html
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