In the Czech Republic
Employee questionnaire results
In the Czech Republic, 873 employees responded to the questionnaire (14.1% of the total sample, compared with only 7% in 2009). The respondents were 80% female (more than the average in the other countries), with 27.9% of them over the age of 50 (the proportion is significantly higher than expected).
Regarding diet, Czech respondents perceived their diet is unhealthy more frequently than in other countries. Only 6% of respondents (58 people) admitted to eating 5 portions of fruit and vegetables 6-7 times a week. The majority (214 respondents or 25%) only have 5 portions once or twice a week.
50% of employees were still unaware of national programmes that promote healthy eating but nevertheless would have liked to receive more information on the subject.
64% of respondents reported having a lunch break every day with only 5% never having lunch during the day. 83% of those who have a lunch break have it in a restaurant. This continues to indicate that the Czech employees are good targets for this project.
A majority (around 60%) of employees responded that a balanced meal is never on display when they eat out in a restaurant. Fruit is not an option for dessert claim the majority (a third of respondents) and neither are there alternatives to biscuits as starters (46%). This is an indication that the FOOD recommendations in these restaurants were not adhered to. These options being available would have helped the Czech employees to make healthier choices (diffusing the ‘toxic environment’ previously mentioned).
Still 58% were not interested in seeking nutritional advice from restaurant staff and ranked staff knowledge or willingness to help with meal choice as last in the importance when choosing a restaurant. A similar trend exists in the other countries yet the percentage is the highest in the Czech Republic.
Restaurant questionnaire results
57 restaurants responded to the questionnaire (corresponding to 18% of the total sample of responses across the six countries). Out of these, 73.7% of the restaurants offered a special lunch option (deal, dish, meal or menu) with soup, main course and dessert as the popular option. The majority of customers in these restaurants were employees (our target audience).
Positively, 40% of the respondents wished to receive more information about balanced food and the FOOD project. Most restaurants would like to receive training sessions to learn about balanced food.
However, more than 40% of restaurants were convinced that their customers may think negatively about them serving balanced food. Changing the attitude of restaurant owners toward healthy food should be a priority in the Czech Republic. This should be done through demonstrating that these changes can be achieved without spending more time or money on the cooking.
Despite the short time that passed between the first and second surveys and the difficulty to determine whether there was a change in behaviour, some promising results emerge from the questionnaires. The Czech employees continue to be good candidates for the interventions as they often have lunch in a restaurant. They are also interested to learn more about healthy eating. Increased demand from the employee side would encourage the restaurants to make the necessary changes to the food they offer.