Journal Article

Does the Heartbeat Award scheme in England result in change in dietary behaviour in the workplace?

Michelle Holdsworth, Neil T. Raymond and Cheryl Haslam

in Health Promotion International

Volume 19, issue 2, pages 197-204
Published in print June 2004 | ISSN: 0957-4824
Published online June 2004 | e-ISSN: 1460-2245 | DOI:
Does the Heartbeat Award scheme in England result in change in dietary behaviour in the workplace?

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The Heartbeat Award (HBA) scheme is a national nutrition labelling scheme that operates throughout England. The aim of this study was to assess whether the implementation of the HBA scheme in the workplace results in an improvement in eating habits at work. A longitudinal survey of employees using a structured questionnaire pre- and post-HBA intervention in six workplaces in Leicestershire, England, was conducted. A qualitative food frequency questionnaire was used to assess dietary behaviour 6 months before the scheme was implemented and 6 months afterwards. Four HBA workplaces (n = 453 employees) were compared with two comparison workplaces (n = 124 employees). The outcome measures for dietary change were consumption of 20 food items, i.e. 16 food-frequency and four food-type items. Changes in pre-intervention data compared with post-intervention data evaluated the impact of the HBA on eating habits. Differences were considered statistically different at the p < 0.05 level. Crude and adjusted odds ratios were used to assess differences in change in dietary behaviour between the intervention and comparison workplaces. The results showed that there was significantly more positive change in intervention workplaces only (i.e. the changes were not detected in the comparison workplaces) for four of the 20 food items tested: increase in consumption of fruit (p = 0.029); reduction in consumption of fried foods (p = 0.044) and sweet puddings (p = 0.042); and change to lower fat milks (p = 0.034). In conclusion, the HBA had a modest impact on dietary intake, resulting in a significant positive change in four out of 20 foods consumed by employees in HBA-holding premises.

Keywords: dietary change; healthy eating intervention; Heartbeat Award; workplace

Journal Article.  4143 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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