Dietary Diversity in Cambodian Garment Workers: The Role of Free Lunch Provision
The objective of this paper is to compare food consumption by Cambodian garment workers with and without access to a free model lunch provision through a factory-based canteen. Data from an exploratory randomised controlled trial were analysed. In total, 223 female Cambodian garment workers were allocated to an intervention arm (six-month lunch ... provision) or a control arm. Dietary intake on workdays was assessed by qualitative 24-h recalls at baseline and twice at follow-ups during the period of lunch provision using the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) guideline on assessing women´s dietary diversity. In total, 158 participants provided complete data on the dietary intake over workdays at all interviews. Lunch provision resulted in a more frequent consumption of dark green leafy vegetables (DGLV), vitamin A-rich fruits, other fruits, and oils and fats during lunch breaks. In contrast, flesh meats, legumes, nuts and seeds, as well as sweets, were eaten at a lower frequency. Except for a higher consumption rate of vitamin A-rich fruits and a lower intake frequency of sweets, lunch provision had a less clear impact on total 24-h intake from different food groups and was not associated with a higher women´s dietary diversity score (WDDS). A more gap-oriented design of the lunch sets taking into account underutilised foods and the nutritional status of the workers is recommended.