Considering the fact that most people eat at least one meal or snack while at work, it is important to encourage healthy eating in the workplace. Eating well is important as it can help reduce the development of cancers, obesity, heart disease, and other illnesses1.
Benefits of healthy eating in the workplace
- Increased energy
- Increased productivity
- Decreased absenteeism
- Decreased medical claims, disability and insurance costs related to nutrition related chronic conditions
- Lower rates of chronic diseases and injuries
What can employers do?
- Develop workplace policies that promote healthy eating
- Create an accessible area where information can be posted (such as a bulletin board), regarding healthy eating, nutritional information, and other resources
- Send out information regarding healthy eating and nutrition via emails or through a workplace newsletter
- Hold health fairs that promote healthy eating, that include dietitians and nurses that can answer questions and consult with employees
- Provide access to a Registered Dietitian who can help counsel and provide support to those wishing to change their eating habits
- If selling food in the cafeteria, ensure that nutritional information is available
- Offer healthy foods in the cafeteria, vending machines, and during meetings
- Provide self-assessment tools for employees to assess their eating habits
- Offer workshops on topics such as preparing healthy meals, reading food labels etc.
- Provide a kitchen, microwave, and refrigerator for employees to prepare and/or store healthy meals
- Health Canada (2009). Workplace health system: An overview [Internet]. Ottawa, ON. Retrieved from: http://publications.gc.ca/collections/collection_2010/sc-hc/H29-13-2009-eng.pdf
Call to Action: Creating a Healthy Workplace Nutrition Environment
Want more information about healthy eating in your workplace? Call a Public Health Dietitian at: 519-426-6170 or 905-318-6623.