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:
- Nearly 35 percent 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.