Employee questionnaire results
1,483 employees responded to the second questionnaire. This was a satisfactory response rate despite being lower than the 2009 one. 61% of employees reported a normal weight, the largest group out of the countries responding. Around 70% of them claimed to eat healthily or rather healthily.
The most respondents out of the six countries claimed to be familiar with a programme promoting healthy food, the majority of them familiar with the PNNS (National Health Nutrition Plan) through a food industry campaign.
Almost 70% of respondents consider nutritional recommendations in their eating habits. 20% have been following recommendations, 25% have made changes in the past year and 25% more were about to make such changes. These results indicate a positive trend in people’s behaviour toward issues relating to nutrition and balanced diet.
Less employees than in the 2009 questionnaire claim to never eat lunch during the working day (2%). 91% have a lunch break often or every working day. Three quarters of those eat at least in one type of restaurant. The main reasons given for not eating in a restaurant remain as in 2009: lack of time and preferring to bring food from home. For those eating out, speed of service and proximity to the workplace were now the main determinants in choosing a restaurant. A varied offer of meals and price were the next most important criteria.
Regarding balanced diet, ‘diversified food in moderate quantity and in a nice environment’ together with ‘good food that at the same time protects my health’ were the main definitions chosen as in 2009. The results point out to diversity, quantity, quality and environment being the most relevant to respondents regarding balanced food.
Restaurant questionnaire results
44 restaurants have responded to the second questionnaire. This low response rate can imply that the use of the internet as means of communication with restaurants is not perfectly adequate. Direct contact through phone calls or face-to-face meetings may be necessary in order to reach further restaurants. Furthermore, time constraints were often a reason for owners not to answer the questionnaire.
The majority of restaurants responding to the questionnaire were independently run (73%) and were heterogeneous in size and clientele. 82% of these restaurants offer a special lunch menu, most often a starter, main and dessert.
15% of restaurant owners believed their staff had sufficient knowledge about nutrition with 65% admitting they were in need of further knowledge. The main reason for these restaurants to not implement nutritional recommendations was budget.
Unlike in the case of the employees, where more and more were considering issues of nutrition in their eating habits, restaurants were still not making nutrition a priority. This was evident from the results, where only 27% of restaurants had made changes following the recommendations and over 40% had not considered the subject or were not interested. The short time period of implementation can be a one of the causes.
The results from the second survey indicate yet again that there is a growing interest amongst the French employees in issues concerning nutrition. The majority of employees were familiar with a national programme promoting healthy eating, mostly the PNNS, making the latter a good programme to partner with. More employees claimed to have a lunch break and when eating out a varied menu was one of several factors when choosing a restaurant. It is important to feed this information back to restaurants to get them motivated to follow nutritional recommendations. New methods of contacting restaurants should be considered.