250436 Social contextual factors associated with fruit and vegetable consumption among construction laborers and motor freight workers

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Eve M. Nagler, ScD, MPH, CHES , Center for Community Based Research, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA
Background and Objective: Little is known about the reasons why blue-collar workers consume fewer fruits and vegetables than white-collar workers. This study investigated associations between a set of social contextual factors and fruit and vegetable consumption among construction laborers and motor freight workers, and identified factors shared between the two groups. Methods: Cross-sectional data were collected from two groups of male, unionized workers: 1) construction laborers (N=1013; response rate = 44%) randomly selected from a national sample, as part of a smoking cessation and fruit and vegetable intervention study; and 2) truck drivers and dockworkers (N=542; response rate = 78%) employed in eight trucking terminals, as part of a study designed to promote tobacco cessation and weight management. Results: For both groups, being White, income, and believing it is important to eat right because of work were significantly associated with fruit and vegetable consumption. For construction workers, having the belief of eating junk food because of being tired and stressed from work was significantly associated with fruit and vegetable intake. For motor freight workers, having the beliefs that fast food is often the choice at work, and not having enough time to eat right because of work, were also significantly associated with fruit and vegetable consumption. Conclusion: Factors in the social context of workers' lives can shape dietary behavior. Comparing working groups illustrates how occupation may operate differently though common social contextual factors as well as facilitates the development of interventions that can be used across groups.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Chronic disease management and prevention
Occupational health and safety
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
List factors in the social environment that are associated with fruit and vegetable consumption among motor freight workers and construction laborers Identify those factors that are shared between both groups of workers Describe how results can inform interventions to promote fruit and vegetable consumption across both groups of workers

Keywords: Nutrition, Worksite

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a Research Scientist at Dana Farber Cancer Institute focused on developing and testing interventions to improve the health and safety of workers in India. I obtained my Doctorate of Science from the Harvard School of Public Health where my research addressed cancer disparities among two groups of US blue-collar workers: truck drivers and construction laborers. Prior to getting my doctoral degree, I worked at the American Cancer Society implementing programs for diverse, working populations.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.