Bad Eating Habits in the Workplace
According to a recent study, only 7 percent of employees said they eat more healthful foods at work than they do at home. Here are some tips for helping your workers eat better.
The Peapod Biz Bites Survey, sponsored by Peapod Business Delivery, suggests that about two out of three employees find eating healthful foods at work to be a challenge. Peapod quotes registered dietitian Cathy Leman, who recommends controlling the environment as a way to set employees up for success. That means stocking the break room with healthful snack choices such as fresh and dried fruit, yogurt, whole grain crackers, nuts, veggies, and baked chips.
As a trainer, you may not have much control over food in the workplace, but you can train employees how to eat healthfully. Nobody likes being told to eat their Brussels sprouts, but you can break the ice with employees by asking if they agree with the humorist who said that part of the secret of success in life is eating what you like and letting the food fight it out inside!
Move on, though, to tell your workers that if they want to feel good and avoid getting sick, they need to eat a well-balanced diet rich in a variety of foods that provide all the essential nutrients.
Proper nutrition is a key part of fitness and good health. Teach workers these basics:
- Eating more fruits and vegetables, and less saturated fat, reduces your risk of heart attack and stroke. It also lowers the risk of getting diabetes and certain cancers- for example, cancers of the mouth, throat, lung, esophagus, stomach, and colon.
- Proper nutrition also helps you maintain a healthy weight. Obesity is associated with more than 30 serious medical conditions, including heart disease and high blood pressure, as well as chronic health problems such as back pain and impaired sleep.
- Eating right also gives you the fuel you need to do a good day’s work and still have some energy to enjoy your personal time.
- And, good nutrition helps keep you looking fit and healthy. And that will probably make you feel better about yourself, too.
Encourage workers to examine the way they eat. Show them that a healthful diet contains foods from all of the food groups:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains in bread and cereal
- Fat-free or low-fat milk products
- Protein in lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts
A healthful diet is also low in saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, salt, and added sugar.
Point them to www.MyPyramid.gov as a helpful resource to determine the specific amounts of each food group they need for their gender, age, and fitness level.
Also make special efforts to help shift workers eat healthful foods. They are already health-challenged because of sleep issues, so train them to eat well, which will also help them to improve sleep patterns and overall quality of life.
- The Four Foods You Should NEVER Eat (doctorshealthpress.com)
- Reader Q&A: What’s the Healthiest Type of Fat? (self.com)
- How do I know if a food is high in fat, saturated fat, sugar or salt? (foodscienceacademy.com)
- Workplace Health & Wellness: Sending the Message Home (themarlincompany.com)