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.
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