• Burnout, eating behaviour traits and dietary patterns

      Chui, H.; Bryant, Eleanor J.; Sarabia, C.; Maskeen, S.; Stewart-Knox, Barbara (Emerald, 2019-11)
      Purpose: The purpose of this research has been to investigate whether burnout and eating behaviour traits were associated with food intake. Design/methodology/approach: Participants (n=109) 78 per cent female, mean age 39 years, were recruited from various occupations within a UK university to complete an on-line survey. Dietary habits were measured using Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ), burnout using the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) and eating behaviour traits using the Three Factor Eating Questionnaire (TFEQ) R18. Findings: Principal component analyses of FFQ responses revealed four dietary patterns: fast/junk food (+chicken and low fruit/vegetables); meat/fish; dairy/grains; beans/nuts. Dietary patterns were examined using multiple regression analysis as outcome variables with age, gender, burnout and eating behaviour traits as explanatory variables. More frequent consumption of “junk/fast food” was associated with lower TFEQ-Cognitive Restraint, higher TFEQ-Uncontrolled Eating (UE), lower MBI-Emotional Exhaustion and higher MBI-Depersonalisation. More frequent consumption of beans/nuts was associated with higher TFEQ-UE and higher MBI-Emotional Exhaustion. Models for meat/fish and grains/dairy dietary patterns were not significant. Research limitations/implications: Burnout may need to be considered to reduce junk food consumption in higher education employees. Causality between burnout, eating behaviour traits and food consumption requires further investigation on larger samples. Originality/value: This appears to be the first study to have explored associations between burnout, eating behaviour traits and dietary patterns.
    • Caught in a ‘spiral’. Barriers to healthy eating and dietary health promotion needs from the perspective of unemployed young people and their service providers

      Davison, J.; Share, M.; Hennessy, M.; Stewart-Knox, Barbara (2015)
      The number of young people in Europe who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) is increasing. Given that young people from disadvantaged backgrounds tend to have diets of poor nutritional quality, this exploratory study sought to understand barriers and facilitators to healthy eating and dietary health promotion needs of unemployed young people aged 16–20 years. Three focus group discussions were held with young people (n = 14). Six individual interviews and one paired interview with service providers (n = 7). Data were recorded, transcribed verbatim and thematically content analysed. Themes were then fitted to social cognitive theory (SCT). Despite understanding of the principles of healthy eating, a ‘spiral’ of interrelated social, economic and associated psychological problems was perceived to render food and health of little value and low priority for the young people. The story related by the young people and corroborated by the service providers was of a lack of personal and vicarious experience with food. The proliferation and proximity of fast food outlets and the high perceived cost of ‘healthy’ compared to ‘junk’ food rendered the young people low in self-efficacy and perceived control to make healthier food choices. Agency was instead expressed through consumption of junk food and drugs. Both the young people and service providers agreed that for dietary health promotion efforts to succeed, social problems needed to be addressed and agency encouraged through (individual and collective) active engagement of the young people themselves.
    • Eating and stress at work: The need for public health promotion intervention and an opportunity for food product development?

      Stewart-Knox, Barbara (2012)
      Given the large proportion of time spent at work, it is surprising that relatively little research has been devoted to understanding food selection in the work place. A growing literature suggests that stress, particularly occupation-related stress, negatively impacts upon food choice and may contribute to population ill health. The consensus is that work stress induces consumption of foods that are high in sugar, fat and salt which are likely to contribute to overweight and have long-term detriment to health. The interaction between stress and eating appears to vary by sex and type of work undertaken. This paper argues an imperative for further longitudinal and intervention research to understand interactions between food choice and stress in the work context with a view to the design of dietary health promotion and the development of nourishing food products targeted at those experiencing stress and which could be made accessible in the work place.
    • Exploring the association between mental wellbeing, health-related quality of life, family affluence and food choice in adolescents

      Davison, J.; Stewart-Knox, Barbara; Connolly, P.; Lloyd, K.; Dunne, L.; Bunting, B. (2021-03)
      Young people choose energy-dense, nutrient-poor diets, yet understanding of potential determinants is limited. Associations between food choices, mental wellbeing, health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and family affluence were explored to identify targets for intervention to promote dietary health and wellbeing in young people. Adolescents were recruited via post-primary schools in the UK and surveyed at two time-points when aged 13-14 years and 15-16 years. The questionnaire enquired about mental wellbeing using the Short Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale, HRQoL using the KIDSCREEN-10, socio-economic status using the Family Affluence Scale and food choice by Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ). With missing and anomalous cases excluded, the sample comprised 1208 cases. Factor analysis on the FFQ indicated five food choice factors: ‘Junk Food’; ‘Meat’; ‘Healthy Protein’; ‘Fruit/Vegetables’; ‘Bread/Dairy’. Multivariate regression analysis indicated that frequent consumption of Junk Food was associated with being male and lower mental wellbeing. Frequent Meat intake was associated with being male and with lower HRQoL. Frequent choice of Bread/Dairy foods was more common among males and associated with higher wellbeing and greater affluence. Those who consumed Fruit/Vegetables frequently were more likely to be female, have higher HRQoL, higher mental wellbeing, and greater family affluence. These direct associations endured between time points. The dietary factors were not mutually exclusive. Those who frequently chose Junk Food were less likely to choose Fruit/Vegetables. Frequent choice of Meat was associated with more frequent choice of Junk Food and Healthy Protein. Intervention to improve dietary and psychological health in young people should target males, those in less affluent households, seek to reduce consumption of ‘junk’ food, and increase fruit and vegetable intake.