sugar-sweetened beverages workplace wellness

Study Highlights Education, Labels to Reduce Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Intake

The effort to help employees manage their sugar intake — particularly through sugar-sweetened beverages — is an important strategy for many well-run workplace wellness programs.

What role do such drinks play — and how might a workplace wellness program address them?

We have highlighted the report titled “Support for Food and Beverage Worksite Wellness Strategies and Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Intake Among Employed U.S. Adults,” which states: “Sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption is high among U.S. adults and is associated with obesity. Given that more than 100 million Americans consume food or beverages at work daily, the worksite may be a venue for interventions to reduce SSB consumption. However, the level of support for these interventions is unknown. We examined associations between workday SSB intake and employees’ support for worksite wellness strategies (WWSs).”

The conclusion: “Almost half of employees supported increasing healthy options within worksites, although daily workday SSB consumers were less supportive of certain strategies. Lack of support could be a potential barrier to the successful implementation of certain worksite interventions.”

In other words, well-run workplace wellness programs may have to provide additional incentives or encouragement for people who driving sugar sweetened beverages daily to switch.

Study: Labels for Sugar-Sweetened Beverages

Now a new study lends support to the idea that education — a workplace wellness staple — works.

The report, published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, is titled “Simulating the Impact of Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Warning Labels in Three Cities.” It states: “A number of locations have been considering sugar-sweetened beverage point-of-purchase warning label policies to help address rising adolescent overweight and obesity prevalence.”

“To explore the impact of such policies, in 2016 detailed agent-based models of Baltimore, Philadelphia, and San Francisco were developed, representing their populations, school locations, and food sources, using data from various sources collected between 2005 and 2014. The model simulated, over a 7-year period, the mean change in BMI and obesity prevalence in each of the cities from sugar-sweetened beverage warning label policies.”

The results were impressive — and telling for the ways that education just may make a difference: “Data analysis conducted between 2016 and 2017 found that implementing sugar-sweetened beverage warning labels at all sugar-sweetened beverage retailers lowered obesity prevalence among adolescents in all three cities.”