Barriers and facilitators to implementation of healthy food and drink policies in public sector workplaces: a systematic literature review.

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CONTEXT: Many countries and institutions have adopted policies to promote healthier food and drink availability in various settings, including public sector workplaces. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this review was to systematically synthesize evidence on barriers and facilitators to implementation of and compliance with healthy food and drink policies aimed at the general adult population in public sector workplaces. DATA SOURCES: Nine scientific databases, 9 grey literature sources, and government websites in key English-speaking countries along with reference lists. DATA EXTRACTION: All identified records (N = 8559) were assessed for eligibility. Studies reporting on barriers and facilitators were included irrespective of study design and methods used but were excluded if they were published before 2000 or in a non-English language. DATA ANALYSIS: Forty-one studies were eligible for inclusion, mainly from Australia, the United States, and Canada. The most common workplace settings were healthcare facilities, sports and recreation centers, and government agencies. Interviews and surveys were the predominant methods of data collection. Methodological aspects were assessed with the Critical Appraisal Skills Program Qualitative Studies Checklist. Generally, there was poor reporting of data collection and analysis methods. Thematic synthesis identified 4 themes: (1) a ratified policy as the foundation of a successful implementation plan; (2) food providers' acceptance of implementation is rooted in positive stakeholder relationships, recognizing opportunities, and taking ownership; (3) creating customer demand for healthier options may relieve tension between policy objectives and business goals; and (4) food supply may limit the ability of food providers to implement the policy. CONCLUSIONS: Findings suggest that although vendors encounter challenges, there are also factors that support healthy food and drink policy implementation in public sector workplaces. Understanding barriers and facilitators to successful policy implementation will significantly benefit stakeholders interested or engaging in healthy food and drink policy development and implementation. SYSTEMATIC REVIEW REGISTRATION: PROSPERO registration no. CRD42021246340.
barrier, challenge, enabler, facilitator, food environment, healthy food policy, implementation, workplace
Nutr Rev, 2023