Helping employees manage sugar intake is a straightforward — and highly-beneficial — tactic well-run workplace wellness programs can employ to improve employee health and potentially reduce employer health costs.
Indeed, we previously noted a study titled “Trends in Beverage Consumption Among Children and Adults, 2003-2014” that was published in Obesity.
The study highlights the problem: “Sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) are a leading source of added sugar to the diet for adults and children in the United States. The consumption of SSBs is strongly linked to obesity, though some studies have found null results. On a given day, about half of adults and two-thirds of children consume at least one SSB. In recent years, SSB consumption has begun to decline; however, rates of SSB consumption have remained persistently higher for racial and ethnic minorities, who are also at higher risk for obesity.”
Ideas: Reduce Sugar Intake
But what are some easy tips that employees and employers can put to use? MedPage Today outlines five:
- “Stay hydrated. Rather than reaching for sugary sodas or fruit drinks, consider herbal teas or no-sugar sparkling water.”
- “Watch out for low- and nonfat foods. In many cases, when a manufacturer reduces fat from a product, they increase the amount of sugar in it, so the products remain tasty — but, they’re not doing you any favors to reduce your overall intake of sugar.”
- “Combine protein, healthy fats and fiber for a power-infused meal. Foods high in protein, healthy fats and fiber keep your blood sugar steady, so you won’t experience such highs and lows in your energy levels.”
- “Bring healthy snacks with you. Consider protein-packed hard-boiled eggs, healthy fats like nuts and avocados, or vegetables with hummus. With time, you’ll begin to notice your tendency to reach for the sweets lessens, and your sugar cravings start to subside.”
- “Take small steps toward change. As a substitute for banning sugar from your diet all at once, pick one meal a day and make it a sugar-free meal — like a breakfast omelet loaded with fresh veggies. This nutritious meal will fuel your body and start your day off on the right foot.”
How much difference can a healthy diet make? A study from the American Heart Association reports that “eating a diet lacking in healthy foods and/or high in unhealthy foods was linked to more than 400,000 deaths from heart and blood vessel diseases in 2015, according to an analysis presented at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology and Prevention / Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health 2017 Scientific Sessions.”