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Public Health Nutr. 2012 Mar;15(3):452-8. doi: 10.1017/S1368980011001431. Epub 2011 Jun 27.

Effectiveness of a Canteen Take Away concept in promoting healthy eating patterns among employees.

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Department of Nutrition, National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark, Moerkhoej Bygade 19, DK-2860 Soeborg, Denmark.



To investigate the effectiveness of a relatively novel concept of providing employees with healthy ready-to-heat meals to bring home to their families, here referred to as Canteen Take Away (CTA).


Employees' dietary intake on two weekdays when they received free CTA was compared with that on weekdays when they did not receive CTA. Four non-consecutive 24 h dietary recalls were applied to assess dietary intake on a daily basis. Moreover, a digital photographic method was used to assess evening meal intake for three consecutive weeks. Data were analysed using a mixed-effects model.


A financial worksite offering CTA.


Twenty-seven employees.


Overall dietary quality as expressed by the energy density of the food (excluding beverages) was found to be significantly lower on days consuming CTA meals compared to days not consuming CTA with regard to evening meal intake (average difference: -187 (95 % CI -225, -149) kJ/100 g) and on a daily basis (average difference: -77 (95 % CI -132, -21) kJ/100 g). Other favourable differences included increased vegetable intake (average difference: 83 (95 % CI 67, 98) g/evening meal, 109 (95 % CI 62, 155) g/d).


The present study shows that providing healthy take-away dinners has potential for promoting healthy dietary habits among employees. This reinforces the importance of availability and convenience as effective tools to promote healthy eating habits.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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