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Feasibility of Online Nutrition Education in the Workplace: Working Toward Healthy Lifestyles

      Abstract

      Objective

      Determination of feasibility of online nutrition education in the federal workplace.

      Design

      Pretest–posttest pilot study with data collection occurring from September to December, 2016.

      Setting

      Two US Department of Agriculture workplaces.

      Participants

      Convenience sample of 26 federal government employees. Posttest response rate was 85% (22 of 26 employees).

      Intervention

      A 12-week online nutrition education program designed and taught by registered dietitian nutritionists.

      Variables Measured

      Program component satisfaction, use, and understanding ratings and clinical measures including body composition, blood pressure, and skin carotenoid level (biomarker for fruit and vegetable intake).

      Analysis

      Paired t tests to determine whether significant changes occurred after the intervention.

      Results

      Mean number of class videos viewed and program components used were 7 and 5 (out of 12 for both). Mean program component ratings ranged from 4.0 to 4.7 (n = 12, maximum score of 5) for the survey items motivated/helped me to eat healthier. Statistically significant decreases were observed in body mass index, percent body fat, and visceral fat level.

      Conclusions and Implications

      Online nutrition education in the federal workplace is feasible for some employees as evidenced by the program components’ high satisfaction and understanding ratings and high retention rate. Limited evidence was apparent for the intervention's positive impact on health outcomes.

      Key Words

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