Comparison of lunch consumed by corporate workers and artisans in a metropolitan area in Accra, Ghana
Background: Lunch is one meal often eaten away from home because it is eaten during official working hours. Foods eaten away from home have been reported to have high sodium, saturated fat and refined sugar content.
Objective: This study compared the lunch choices of Ghanaian corporate workers and artisans and related it to their nutritional status.
Methods: The study design was cross-sectional. A total of 150 participants were recruited by random sampling from selected corporate institutions and artisan shops in the Ablekuman South sub-metropolitan area in Accra. Anthropometry (height, weight, waist and hip circumferences) and body composition (total body and visceral fat) indicators were measured. Daily food intake and lunch choices were assessed using 24-hour recall and quantitative food frequency questionnaire, respectively. The 24-hour dietary recall was done for 2 consecutive days. Statistical Package for Social Sciences vs 20.0 was used to analyse the data. Choice of lunch consumed in a week was reported as percentages. Macronutrient, calorie and fibre intake in a day and at lunch, were compared among the two groups using Students T-test. P-value ≤ 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results: Over 30% of both groups consumed refined boiled rice with tomato stew and fried fish or chicken twice or more weekly. Over 30% of artisans also consumed the high fibre banku (cooked fermented whole maize dough balls) and okra stew or kenkey (fermented whole maize dough cooked wrapped in plantain or corn leaves) and fried fish twice or more weekly. Corporate workers were significantly more obese; BMI (p = 0.01), waist circumference (p < 0.01) and visceral fat (p < 0.01) compared to artisans.
Conclusion: Corporate workers consumed more refined and high calorie lunch than artisans with significantly higher prevalence of obesity. Corporate workers are therefore a good target for worksite health promotion programme.
Keywords: Lunch choices, nutritional status, corporate-workers, artisans