Factors influencing lunchtime food choices among working Americans

Heidi M. Blanck, Amy L. Yaroch, Audie A. Atienza, Sarah L. Yi, Jian Zhang, Louise C. Mâsse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

48 Scopus citations


There is growing interest in the usefulness of the workplace as a site for promotion of healthful food choices. The authors therefore analyzed data of U.S. adults (N = 1,918) who reported working outside the home and eating lunch. The majority (84.0%) of workers had a break room. About one half (54.0%) purchased lunch ĝ‰¥ 2 times/week, with higher percentages for males, Blacks, younger (age 18-34 years) versus older adults (age 55 years or older), and obese versus normal-weight persons. The most important lunch food choice value was convenience (34.3%), followed by taste (27.8%), cost (20.8%), and health (17.1%). The typical source for purchasing lunch was a fast-food restaurant (43.4%), followed by on-site cafeteria/snack shop (25.3%), full-service restaurant (16.9%), supermarket (5.2%), vending machine (4.4%), and convenience store (4.0%); younger adults and those less educated relied more on fast-food places. This study identifies individual factors and values that may influence future dietary health initiatives in the work site.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)289-301
Number of pages13
JournalHealth Education and Behavior
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2009



  • Fast-food restaurant
  • Food choice
  • Nutrition
  • Work site

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Blanck, H. M., Yaroch, A. L., Atienza, A. A., Yi, S. L., Zhang, J., & Mâsse, L. C. (2009). Factors influencing lunchtime food choices among working Americans. Health Education and Behavior, 36(2), 289-301. https://doi.org/10.1177/1090198107303308