Background: 5 a Day for Better Health is a simple message encouraging people to eat more fruits and vegetables. The Seattle 5 a Day worksite investigators designed and evaluated an intervention, organized on stages of behavioral change, to increase worksitewide fruit and vegetable consumption.
Methods: We recruited 28 worksites with cafeterias and randomized 14 to intervention and 14 to control. The intervention addressed both changes in the work environment and individual level behavior change. In each worksite, an employee advisory board, with study interventionist assistance, implemented the program. By surveying cross-sectional samples of 125 employees per worksite, we compared worksite mean fruit and vegetable consumption at 2-year follow-up with that at baseline. Unobtrusive site-level indicators including plate observation and cafeteria checklist were also used.
Results: The difference at 2 years was 0.5 for the intervention worksites and 0.2 for the control worksites, with an intervention effect of 0.3 daily serving (P < 0.05). Other measures of fruit and vegetable consumption, including unobtrusive indicators, supported the effectiveness of the intervention.
Conclusions: This simple 5 a Day intervention is feasible and acceptable for use in worksites with cafeterias. There was a significant differential increase in fruit and vegetable consumption in the intervention worksites. This kind of worksite intervention can achieve important health benefits on a population basis, because of its potential to reach large numbers of people.
Copyright 2001 American Health Foundation and Academic Press.