Long-term sustainability of a worksite canteen intervention of serving more fruit and vegetables

Anne Vibeke Thorsen, Anne Dahl Lassen, Inge Tetens, Ole Hels, B.E. Mikkelsen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Objective: To analyse the 5-year sustainability of a worksite canteen intervention of serving more fruit and vegetables (F&V). Design: Average F&V consumption per customer per meal per day was assessed in five worksite canteens by weighing F&V served and subtracting waste. Data were collected by the canteen staff during a 3-week continuous period and compared to data from the same five canteens measured at baseline, at end point and at 1-year follow-up. The intervention used a participatory and empowering approach, self-monitoring and networking among the canteen staff, management and a consultant. The method focused on providing ideas for increased F&V for lunch, making environmental changes in the canteens by giving access to tasteful and healthy food choices and reducing the availability of unhealthy options. Setting: Five Danish worksites serving from 50 to 500 meals a day: a military base, an electronic component distributor, a bank, a town hall and a waste-handling facility. Subjects: Worksite canteen managers, canteen staff. Results: Four of the five worksite canteens were able to either maintain the intervention or even increase the consumption of F&V. The average increase from baseline to 5-year follow-up was 95 g per customer per meal per day (18, 144, 66, 105 and 141 g, respectively). On average, the five canteens at the long-term follow-up had an F&V consumption of 208 g/meal per customer. Conclusions: The present study indicates that sustainability of F&V is possible in worksites where the participatory and empowering approach, self-monitoring, environmental change, dialogue with suppliers and networking among worksite canteens are applied.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPublic Health Nutrition
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)1647-1652
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Worksite canteens
  • Sustainability of intervention

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