Unhealthy eating habits can lead to higher body mass index (BMI) and evidence shows that as a worker’s BMI increases; so do their short-term absences, ability to perform on the job, and their healthcare costs. In a study looking at annual costs of medical expenditures, absenteeism and presenteeism associated with full-time overweight and obese employees, costs ranged from $-$322 for overweight men to $6694 for grade-III obese women (BMI >40).
Obesity (BMI >30) is related to increased risk for chronic disease including heart disease, diabetes and cancer. It has also been linked to more difficult and expensive recovery times from illness and injury and to increased risk of certain occupational diseases or conditions like musculoskeletal disorders, asthma, and vibration-induced injury. These direct and indirect costs motivate employers to seek strategies to help their overweight or obese employee’s dietary habits and to help their normal weight employees maintain good eating habits.
Nutrition in the Workplace: A comprehensive workplace health program includes strategies and interventions that encourage employees to make healthy nutrition choices. Studies have shown that good eating habits can help lower the risk of many chronic diseases including heart disease and diabetes. In our latest video, nutrition experts and employers discuss good food choices and programs, policies, and practices to promote healthy eating among employees.
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