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Nutrients 2017, 9(3), 193; doi:10.3390/nu9030193

Influences on Dietary Choices during Day versus Night Shift in Shift Workers: A Mixed Methods Study

1
Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Food, Level 1, 264 Ferntree Gully Road, Monash University, Melbourne, Notting Hill VIC 3168, Australia
2
Department of Community Emergency Health and Paramedic Practice, Monash University, Frankston VIC 3199, Australia
These two authors are the joint first authors.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 December 2016 / Revised: 14 February 2017 / Accepted: 20 February 2017 / Published: 26 February 2017
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [528 KB, uploaded 26 February 2017]   |  

Abstract

Shift work is associated with diet-related chronic conditions such as obesity and cardiovascular disease. This study aimed to explore factors influencing food choice and dietary intake in shift workers. A fixed mixed method study design was undertaken on a convenience sample of firefighters who continually work a rotating roster. Six focus groups (n = 41) were conducted to establish factors affecting dietary intake whilst at work. Dietary intake was assessed using repeated 24 h dietary recalls (n = 19). Interviews were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim, and interpreted using thematic analysis. Dietary data were entered into FoodWorks and analysed using Wilcoxon signed-rank test; p < 0.05 was considered significant. Thematic analysis highlighted four key themes influencing dietary intake: shift schedule; attitudes and decisions of co-workers; time and accessibility; and knowledge of the relationship between food and health. Participants reported consuming more discretionary foods and limited availability of healthy food choices on night shift. Energy intakes (kJ/day) did not differ between days that included a day or night shift but greater energy density (EDenergy, kJ/g/day) of the diet was observed on night shift compared with day shift. This study has identified a number of dietary-specific shift-related factors that may contribute to an increase in unhealthy behaviours in a shift-working population. Given the increased risk of developing chronic diseases, organisational change to support workers in this environment is warranted. View Full-Text
Keywords: nutrition; shift work; communicative disease; qualitative methodology nutrition; shift work; communicative disease; qualitative methodology
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Bonnell, E.K.; Huggins, C.E.; Huggins, C.T.; McCaffrey, T.A.; Palermo, C.; Bonham, M.P. Influences on Dietary Choices during Day versus Night Shift in Shift Workers: A Mixed Methods Study. Nutrients 2017, 9, 193.

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