obesity workplace wellness

Proper Eating Principles Help Workplace Wellness Programs Address Obesity

Yesterday we addressed an important aspect of a well-run workplace wellness program: Ensuring employees can protect against obesity by understanding principles of proper eating.

We know from a study previously noted by MedPage Today that: “A greater number of years spent overweight or obese is associated with an increased likelihood of heart damage, beginning in young adulthood, an observational study showed.” The study is titled “Weight History and Subclinical Myocardial Damage” and is published in Clinical Chemistry.

We also previously 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.”

To help engage employees in the effort, it may help to provide actionable tips. Specifically: How can we eat and serve smaller portions?

The American Heart Association outlines some answers:


  • “When cooking at home: Offer the proper ‘serving’ to each member of the family, then put the extra food away. Save leftovers for another meal.”
  • “When dining out:  Skip the appetizers and split a large salad or main dish with a friend.”
  • “When ordering takeout at home: Eat one slice of pizza instead of two, and order a small instead of a medium to split among the family so the pieces are smaller.
  • “At snack time: Never eat straight from the bag or box. Measure out snacks, including fruits and veggies, into appropriate portion sizes before giving them to your kids.”
  • “All the time: Tracking your calories helps you monitor your weight. It helps to know what the appropriate serving size is so you can correctly estimate the calories in your portions, especially if you dine out a lot. Using a food diary can help you pay closer attention to what you’re eating, how much and how often.”