Dietary Intake in Law Enforcement Personnel: Occupation Is an Additional Challenge for Changing Behavior

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MacKenzie-Shalders, Kristen L
Lee, Ka Wing
Wright, Charlene
Dulla, Joe
Tsoi, Angela
Orr, Robin M
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2022
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https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Abstract

Background: Law enforcement is a dangerous, stressful, and health-threatening occupation. This study investigated the association between demographic factors including sex, age, and types of law enforcement occupation and described self-reported barriers to healthy and enjoyable diets within a cohort of law enforcement personnel. Methods: This mixed-methods study explored cross-sectional data from the Perceived Barriers to Healthy Eating validated survey. The survey included eight questions obtaining quantitative data and two open ended question obtaining qualitative data. A framework thematic analysis using the theory of planned behavior was undertaken to describe self-reported barriers to a healthy and enjoyable dietary intake. Results: 159 participants (median age = 27 (range 19–60) years; 74% males) were surveyed. In general, demographic factors are not associated with the dietary beliefs and behavior of law enforcement personnel. Self-reported barriers (generated themes) to a healthy and enjoyable diet included individual preferences, social influences, internal drive, capacity to change and occupational influences, which broadly aligned with the theory of planned behavior. Conclusions: Dietary intake in law enforcement personnel is impacted by occupational considerations, including busy schedules, long working hours, inconsistent meal breaks, tiredness, and shift work. The study provides useful information to support dietary interventions.

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Nutrients
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© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
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Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Nutrition & Dietetics
police
food choice
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MacKenzie-Shalders, KL; Lee, KW; Wright, C; Dulla, J; Tsoi, A; Orr, RM, Dietary Intake in Law Enforcement Personnel: Occupation Is an Additional Challenge for Changing Behavior, Nutrients, 2022, 14 (7), pp. 1336
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