diet workplace wellness

Study Highlights Importance of Diet, Positive Role Workplace Can Play

We frequently report on the positive benefits that a well-balanced diet can bring — and the habits that can be advanced through a well-run workplace wellness program.

For example, we previously noted a MedPage Today report on study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology titled “Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease in Diabetes Mellitus.”

MedPage Today states: ““The PREDIMED trial demonstrated a 30% reduction in the primary composite outcome of cardiovascular death, MI, or stroke with the Mediterranean diet compared with a control diet. Results for patients with T2D were similar to the main group, suggesting that a Mediterranean diet may prevent cardiovascular events in patients with T2D. Guidelines from the ADA recommend the Mediterranean diet, as well as increased fruit, vegetable, and whole grain consumption and decreased intake of saturated fat.”

We’ve also noted the State of Obesity report that headlines: “Workplace wellness programs boost employee health and productivity and reduce absenteeism.”

The report states: “Research demonstrates that multicomponent workplace wellness programs can be an important strategy in preventing and reducing obesity. A number of reviews have found these initiatives can pay for themselves by increasing productivity and reducing absenteeism. They also have been shown to reduce weight, body fat and BMI, and increase physical activity. Many state health departments have developed resources to assist employers in creating effective wellness programs, such as the Work Well Texas program discussed in a subsequent section.”

Now the study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) that we have featured this week offers additional insights on the benefits of a good diet — and costs of a poor one.

The study is titled “The State of US Health, 1990-2016: Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Among US States.” In regard to diet, it highlights important facts that can help drive engagement or even program design within a well-run workplace wellness program.

It states:

  • “Several studies have shown that poor diet is a major challenge in the United States, and little improvement has occurred over the past decades.”
  • “US residents are not consuming a healthy diet; they tend to consume more calories than needed, and composition is not ideal.”
  • “Some recent studies have shown modest improvement in certain aspects of US diet, especially decreases in consumption of sugary drinks.”
  • “The United States needs a comprehensive program to improve dietary intake at national and local levels. This program should offer financial incentives and disincentives for more vs less healthful food products by agriculture producers, food manufacturers, and retailers, as well as for choices by consumers.”
  • “This effort should also implement comprehensive wellness programs in schools, workplaces, and government offices, and inform the public of the importance of a healthful diet.”