Investigating the dietary habits of male irish farmers to prevent mortality and morbidity

Diana van Doorn, Noel Richardson, Aubrey Storey, Aoife Osborne, Caitriona Cunningham, Catherine Blake, John McNamara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Excess mortality and morbidity among Irish farmers from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) has been linked to a range of occupational risk factors. Obesity is a key risk factor underpinning this excess burden and unhealthy eating habits are linked to overweight/obesity and to disease occurrence. This study investigated the dietary habits of a sub-group of Irish male farmers and explored how these might potentially impact on health outcomes. Cross-sectional survey research was undertaken using self-reported quantitative data, based on convenience sampling and a 24-h food re-call survey. Data were analysed using frequency and chi-square analysis. Where possible, findings were compared to national survey data for Irish males. Findings revealed that a high proportion of farmers were overweight or obese and that dietary habits consisted of low intake of fruit, vegetables, and dairy and a high intake of meat, fried and processed foods, salt, and sugary and/or salty snacks. Younger farmers reported a significantly higher intake of processed meats; however, no associations were found between age, lifestyle behaviours, and dietary habits. The findings provide a greater understanding of how dietary habits potentially contribute to poorer health outcomes among farmers and underline the need for health promotion interventions, including healthy eating campaigns, aimed at farmers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number54
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021


  • Dietary habits
  • Farmers
  • Gender
  • Morbidity
  • Mortality
  • Noncommunicable diseases
  • Occupational diseases
  • OSH
  • Overweight/obesity
  • Total worker health


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