Impact of individual and worksite environmental factors on water and sugar-sweetened beverage consumption among overweight employees

Brenda M. Davy, Wen You, Fabio Almeida, Sarah Wall, Samantha Harden, Dana L. Comber, Paul A. Estabrooks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Introduction: The worksite environment may influence employees' dietary behaviors. Consumption of water and sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) affect weight management; however, little research has evaluated the influence of worksite factors on beverage consumption. Our purpose was to determine whether individual and worksite factors are associated with water and SSB intake among overweight and obese employees. Methods: Data were collected as part of baseline assessments for a worksite-based, weight-management intervention trial. Height and weight of participants (N = 1,482; 74% female; mean age = 47 y [standard deviation (SD) = 11y]; mean weight = 208 lbs [SD = 46 lbs]) were assessed, and participants completed a validated beverage intake questionnaire. Environmental characteristics of worksites (N = 28) were audited. A qualitative comparative analysis (QCA) was used to identify worksite conditions that may support healthier beverage intake patterns. Results: Most participants were white (75% of sample) with at least some college education or a college degree (approximately 82% of sample). Mean water and SSB intake were 27 fl oz (SD = 18 fl oz) and 17 fl oz (SD = 18 fl oz), respectively; SSB intake (191 kcal [SD = 218 kcal]) exceeded the recommended discretionary energy intake. Statistical models did not identify any significant predictors of water intake. Female sex and increasing level of education and household income were associated with lower SSB intake; baseline body weight and greater number of worksite water coolers and vending machines were associated with higher SSB intake. The QCA identified worksite type (ie, not manual labor) as a condition necessary for healthier beverage consumption; a worksite break policy of 2 or more per day may lead to unhealthy beverage consumption. Lower SSB consumption was noted among older participants, female participants, and among participants with higher education and income levels. Conclusion: Workplace factors influence beverage consumption among overweight employees. Limiting vending machine availability and implementing policies that promote weight management may improve employee health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number130207
JournalPreventing Chronic Disease
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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