A pilot study of an online workplace nutrition program: the value of participant input in program development

J Nutr Educ Behav. May-Jun 2008;40(3):160-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2007.04.376.


Objective: Tailored nutrition Web programs constitute an emerging trend in obesity prevention. Initial investment in innovative technology necessitates that the target population be well understood. This pilot study's purpose was to determine the feasibility of a workplace nutrition Web program.

Design: Formative research was conducted with gaming industry employees and benefits managers to develop a consensus on workplace-specific nutrition needs. A demonstration Web program was piloted with stakeholders to determine feasibility.

Setting: Indiana, Mississippi, Nevada, and New Jersey gaming establishments.

Participants: 86 employees, 18 benefits managers.

Intervention: Prototype Web program.

Main outcome measures: Concept mapping; 16-item nutrition knowledge test; satisfaction.

Analysis: Concept mapping was used to aggregate importance ratings on programmatic content, which informed Web program curriculum. Chi-square tests were performed postintervention to determine knowledge improvement.

Results: (1) Employees and benefits managers exhibited moderate agreement about content priorities for the program (r = 0.48). (2) There was a significant increase in employees' nutrition knowledge scores postintervention (t = 7.16, df = 36, P < .001); those with less knowledge exhibited the greatest gains in knowledge scores (r = -0.647, P < .001).

Conclusions and implications: Employees and benefit managers do not necessarily agree on the priority of nutrition-related content, suggesting a need for programs to appeal to various stakeholders. Computer-based approaches can address various stakeholder health concerns via tailored, customized programming.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Attitude to Health
  • Diet
  • Female
  • Health Education / methods*
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Internet*
  • Male
  • Nutritional Sciences / education*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Program Development / methods*
  • Workplace*