The Dietary Patterns, Behavioral/Health Perceptions, and Nutrition Knowledge of Smoking and Nonsmoking Foodservice Shiftworkers

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


The effects of shiftwork can be complex and nonuniform. This study was conducted to determine the dietary patterns, behavioral/health perceptions, and nutrition knowledge of smoking and nonsmoking foodservice shiftworkers.

Data were collected with the use of a questionnaire and food frequency list. Seventy- seven participants were used in the study: 41 smokers and 36 nonsmokers. These participants were employees of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University foodservice system. Each was employed on a full- time basis and was considered to be bluecollar status.

The smoking foodservice shiftworkers perceived a higher number of diagnosed medical conditions than the nonsmokers. They also consumed significantly less food than the nonsmokers in five of the six food/drink groups as indicated on the food frequency list. No significant differences were determined between smokers and nonsmokers for nutrition knowledge, food type selection- (sweets, fast foods, convenience foods/beverages, and cafeteria served foods), restfulness/relaxation, overall health perception, and organizational lifestyle.

The need for smoker cessation education and for information regarding nutrition and health practices was identified by this study. Further investigation into each of the various aspects of this study is warranted.