Workplace Wellness: Initiatives to Promote Nutrition

As the adage goes, “You are what you eat.”—which means unhealthy food leads to unhealthy people.

An unbalanced diet and poor nutrition can contribute to the following health problems:

  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Hypertension
  • Gout
  • Obesity

Nearly 35% of adults are obese—which, in turn, can increase the risks of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer.

The most effective way to minimize many of these health risks is to encourage your employees to adopt healthy, well-balanced diets. Good nutrition can positively affect their performance through the following ways:

  • Increased productivity
  • Increased mental cognition and focus
  • Reduced anxiety, stress and depression


Activities to Promote Wellness

In order to achieve a well-balanced diet, there are two key ingredients: controlling portion size and choosing the best foods. To help your employees make healthy, nutritious meal decisions, consider taking these steps:

  • Provide healthy, nutritious cafeteria and vending machine options. Choices could include nuts, fresh and dried fruits, water or tea, leaner lunchmeats, and fewer frozen or microwavable meals.
  • Offer fresh fruit and whole grain breakfast options—avoid sugary treats such as donuts or toaster pastries. According to the Institute for Health and Productivity Management (IHPM), nearly one-third of employees skip breakfast. Without some food—regardless of whether or not it’s nutritious—your employees will have reduced energy, productivity and focus.
  • Order healthier options for lunch meetings and company events. Buffets provide your employees with the ability to decide what and how much to put on their plates.
  • Schedule a nutritional lunch seminar where a dietitian or physician educates your employees on the importance of a well-balanced diet and the methods of maintaining healthy eating habits.

A Well-balanced Diet Can Lead to a More Productive Workforce

On average, medical costs for an individual who is obese is $1,429 higher than an individual who maintains a well-balanced diet. A healthy diet can provide your employees with the energy and focus to be productive and efficient throughout the entire day.