Foods and Beverages Obtained at Worksites in the United States
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Foods and Beverages Obtained at Worksites in the United States

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  • Alternative Title:
    J Acad Nutr Diet
  • Personal Author:
  • Description:

    Nutrition interventions are a common component of worksite wellness programs and have been recognized as an effective strategy to change employee dietary behaviors. However, little is known about worksite food behaviors or the foods that are obtained at workplaces at the national level.


    The aims were to examine the frequency of obtaining foods at work among employed US adults and the amount of money spent obtaining them, determine the foods most commonly obtained at work, and assess the dietary quality of these foods.


    This is a cross-sectional analysis of data from the USDA Food Acquisition and Purchasing Survey (FoodAPS), a nationally representative household survey conducted from April 2012 through January 2013 on food purchases and acquisitions during a seven-day study period.


    The study included 5222 employed adult Americans.

    Main outcome measures

    The study assessed the prevalence of obtaining any foods at work overall and according to sociodemographic subgroups, number of acquisitions and calories obtained, most commonly obtained foods and leading food sources of calories, and HEI-2010 scores that represent dietary quality.

    Statistical analyses performed

    Prevalence estimates of obtaining ≥1 foods at work were compared according to sociodemographic characteristic using chi-square tests.


    Nearly a quarter (23.4%) of working adults obtained foods at work during the week and the foods they obtained averaged 1292 kcal per person/week. The leading food types obtained included foods typically high in solid fat, added sugars, or sodium, such as pizza, soft drinks, cookies/brownies, cakes and pies, and candy. HEI scores suggest that work foods are high in empty calories, sodium, and refined grains and low in whole grains and fruit.


    Working adults commonly obtain foods at work and the foods they obtain have limited dietary quality. Future research should examine the role worksites can play to help ensure access to and promote healthier options.

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