‘When operating a cafeteria, sales come before nutrition’ – finding barriers and facilitators to serving reduced-sodium meals in worksite cafeterias.
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OBJECTIVE: The present study was conducted to examine barriers to and facilitators of serving reduced-sodium meals (RSM) in worksite cafeterias.
DESIGN: We conducted in-depth interviews with key stakeholders in food catering companies.
SETTING: Food catering companies at various customer sites in South Korea.
SUBJECTS: A total of nineteen interviews with twenty-five participants from ten catering companies were conducted. Sixteen on-site dietitians and nine managers from the catering companies' headquarters participated in the interviews.
RESULTS: Four main themes emerged from the interviews. First, key stakeholders' psychosocial characteristics (perception, intention and knowledge) are important in serving RSM in worksite cafeterias. Second, skills and techniques related to measuring sodium content and preparing RSM were emphasized by the interviewees. Third, the lack of various delicious low-sodium menus is a barrier to serving RSM. Lastly, a number of environmental factors were addressed, which include social support for reduced-sodium diets (a facilitator) and pressure to maintain profit margins (a barrier), that contribute to serving meals with less salt. Based on these factors, various recommendations for future sodium reduction policies and programmes were suggested.
CONCLUSIONS: It is important to implement population-wide sodium reduction as a means of preventing CVD and stroke. The study provided important facilitators of and barriers to serving RSM in worksite cafeterias, which could be helpful in developing environmental interventions that promote low-sodium diets.