Process evaluation of two environmental nutrition programmes and an educational nutrition programme conducted at supermarkets and worksite cafeterias in the Netherlands


Ingrid Steenhuis, Department of Psychology, Open University, PO Box 2960, 6401 DL Heerlen, The Netherlands.
Tel.: +31-45-5762952
Fax: +31-45-5762939


Introduction  This article describes the process evaluation of two environmental programmes and an educational nutrition programme, implemented at supermarkets and worksite cafeterias. Studies conducted earlier, indicated that the programmes had no effect on consumers’ eating behaviour. Consequently, the more specific purpose of the present study was to identify explanations for the ineffectiveness of the programmes and to formulate recommendations for future programmes.

Materials and methods  The environmental programmes included labelling of healthy products and increasing the range of healthy foods on offer. The education programme consisted of several elements, such as brochures and a self-help guide. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 21 managers of supermarkets and worksite cafeterias where the programmes were implemented.

Results  Although materials were not always entirely compatible with the different supermarkets and worksite cafeterias, the degree of implementation was satisfactory. According to the managers, the programmes were not striking enough, the labelling would have been more effective if it had discriminated between different brands of a product, and the number of new products was too small compared with the total range of foods on offer.

Conclusions  The findings suggest that programmes should be promoted intensively. Furthermore, the relevant manufacturers and wholesalers supplying worksite cafeterias should be encouraged to increase their range of suitable low-fat products. Finally, the feasibility and possible effects of brand-specific labelling should be investigated further.