Whether you’re a vegan, paleo, gluten-free, or unapologetic omnivore, you probably spend a lot of time thinking about food every day. What’s in your refrigerator right now? What are your supper plans? What do you need to pick up in the store? In the next few minutes, what should you have for a snack? You see what I mean.
It’s never been simpler to locate drool-worthy recipes with a few taps or swipes, thanks to the expansion of Pinterest, Instagram, and the internet in general. What hasn’t gotten any more straightforward, though? It’s challenging to go through all contradicting information and figure out what’s best for you.
And, while you may not know it, you have the power to influence your workers’ eating habits as an employer.
Why should you consider giving a nutrition-focused wellness programme to your employees? How are businesses addressing nutrition-focused wellness programmes? Continue reading to find out!
Employee wellbeing & nutrition programmes: A quick overview
According to the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) 2017 Employee Benefits Report, a large number of forward-thinking employers—59 per cent—have committed resources to employee wellbeing, and 71 per cent provide wellbeing resources and information.
The following are some of the most popular nutrition and diet-related services:
- Weight-loss programmes are offered by 30% of companies.
- Nutritional advice is provided by 16% of companies.
- Only 5% of firms provide onsite vegetable gardens.
Employee emotions are reflected in the predominance of these offerings: Employees support improvements to their office food environment, including better selections at workplace cafeterias, preferred pricing of healthy options, point-of-sale iconography, and nutrition labels, according to the CDC.
So, let’s take a closer look at why it’s essential to prioritise nutrition and good eating at the workplace.
Why nutrition matters in general (AKA “Eat your vegetables!”)
Heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, and various malignancies are caused or prevented by consumption. Some of these harmful health effects can be avoided by eating four to five servings of fruit and four to five cups of vegetables each day.
While the focus of this piece is on nutrition rather than weight reduction, studies have shown that swapping high-energy meals for lower-energy foods (items with fewer calories per pound of weight, such as fruits and vegetables) can be an effective weight-loss method. To put it another way, eating properly helps people maintain a healthy weight!
Despite this, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that one out of every ten Americans consumes enough fruits and vegetables. Yikes! Right now, moms all across the world are shaking their heads.
Why is it essential for your staff to eat well?
As previously said, eating a well-balanced, nutrient-dense diet can prevent a variety of significant illnesses and ailments. This is fantastic since it may result in cheaper healthcare expenditures for your organisation, fewer sick days, and a healthier workforce overall. There may also be a link between physical health and workplace engagement, with healthier individuals being more focused and productive.
Furthermore, according to research published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, investing in nutrition counselling with a Registered Dietitian can save businesses money in the long term. People with type 2 diabetes who got dietary counselling, for example, had a 64 percent reduction in workdays missed and an 87 percent reduction in disability days.
Why is it important to provide nutrition advice in the workplace?
Even if you notice the link between good eating habits and your employees’ productivity, you might be questioning if it’s your job as an employer to provide nutritional advice. Will they think you’ve overstepped your boundaries? Will they be receptive to programmes like this?
Asking your staff directly is the most excellent method to get answers to such queries. Survey them to see whether they’re interested in wellness programmes and if nutrition is a topic that interests them.
If they turn out to be interested in nutrition, that’s fantastic! Continue reading if you want to learn more.
Employer-sponsored nutrition programmes have a high possibility of influencing long-term behaviour change for a variety of reasons. Here are several examples:
- Employer-sponsored programmes can be repeated to provide continuous assistance to employees.
- Employers have the power to change the office food environment, making it more straightforward for employees to make healthier choices.
- In the workplace, social networks may support and motivate employees to strive toward a common objective.
Getting Started: Healthy Eating Programme Ideas.
Are you seriously contemplating making healthy eating a priority at your place of business? That’s fantastic! Here are some tips to remember:
“Extensive data from behavioural economics has demonstrated that information seldom succeeds in modifying behaviour or developing new habits for fitness and food choices,” according to the Harvard Business Review. To put it another way, simply providing the information isn’t enough.
To inspire meaningful change, you’ll need to take a more active position. Consider behaviour modification personally by assisting your staff in setting personal objectives and developing healthy habits.
- Addressing challenges connected to the availability of healthy foods and point of purchase, according to the CDC, are the methods with “the most substantial evidence for encouraging good dietary behaviours.” So make sure fruits, veggies, and other nutritious options are readily available in worksite kitchens, cafeterias, vending machines, and other areas.
- A Harvard research on obesity prevention includes several recommendations, including gaining senior management support, adapting programmes to workers’ needs and preferences, designing inclusive programmes so all employees may engage in, and tracking the performance of a programme.
A Few Final Thoughts
We’ve covered a lot of ground—why nutrition is an essential part of living a healthy lifestyle, how it impacts your workers, why offering nutrition-focused wellness programmes makes sense. A few tips to help you guarantee your programme drives meaningful behaviour change.
While we recognise that information alone won’t lead to long-term change, we hope we’ve made it a bit simpler for you and your staff to make healthier decisions.
We’d like to hear from you now! What has been your experience with nutrition programmes in the workplace? Are there any best practices or words of wisdom you’d like to share? Please let us know in the comments area if this is the case.