Oral Presentation Joint Annual Scientific Meeting of the Nutrition Society of NZ and the Nutrition Society of Australia

Construction work environment influences on nutrition and beverage intake (360)

Katherine E Markwell 1 2 , Rebecca Loudoun 1
  1. Department of Employee Relations and Human Resources, Griffith University, Brisbane, QLD, Australia
  2. School of Science, Australian Catholic University, Brisbane, QLD, Australia

Background/Aims: Industrial workforces are at higher risk of preventable chronic diseases than the general population. The aim of this study was to investigate influences on food and beverage intake by construction workers and managers and potential levers of health promotion in construction food environment.

Methods: Qualitative semi structured focus groups/interviews were conducted with 26 construction workers at 5 urban construction sites in Brisbane, Australia. Questions were asked about: nutrition and beverage intake onsite; the impact of working hours and breaks on intake; any perceptions of effects of food and beverages on safety and productivity and site influences and barriers/facilitators for consumption. Managers were also asked about their role and any perceived responsibilities with regards to beverage intake, nutrition and safety onsite. Thematic analysis and cross-checks of themes between three researchers was conducted.

Results: Formulated caffeinated beverage consumption was considered a safety concern by most occupational health and safety (OHS) managers and were perceived to effect hydration and pose unique risks. Nutritional intake was considered separate to beverage consumption and outside of the OHS role. Younger ages and long working hours were perceived as influences on consuming FCB and less healthy food. Site vending machines were considered as key influences on beverage and nutritional intake on worksites.

Conclusions: Formulated caffeinated beverage intake is considered a potential safety concern in hot climates on construction sites. Using beverage intake as a lever for nutritional change on industrial worksites may be efficacious.

Funding source: Department of Justice and the Attorney-General, Queensland Government.