Eating healthily at work matters
A new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine finds unhealthy worksite food purchases associated with unhealthy diet outside of work and more risk factors for diabetes and cardiovascular disease compared to employees who made healthier (food) purchases. These findings contribute to a better understanding of the relationship of eating behaviours at work with overall diet and health and can help to shape worksite wellness programmes.
Employer-sponsored programmes to promote healthy eating could reach millions of people and help to curb obesity. Workplace wellness programmes have the potential to promote lifestyle changes among large populations of employees. Using cafeteria purchasing data, the investigators developed a Healthy Purchasing Score (HPS) to rate the dietary quality of employees' overall purchases.The analysis showed that employees with the lowest HPS (least healthy purchases) had the lowest overall dietary quality and the highest risk for obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Healthier purchases were associated with higher dietary quality and lower prevalence of obesity, hypertension, and prediabetes/diabetes.