WASHINGTON — March is National Nutrition Month and while eating healthy at home is something more people are doing, focusing on wellness at work can be a bit more challenging.
Alyson Courtney looks into a new study suggesting companies need to do more to offer healthy food options for employees.
A new CDC study shows nearly a quarter of employed adults get foods and drinks at work at least once a week – mostly -items high in calories, added sugars, and sodium.
With an unpredictable schedule, no one knows that better than Dr. Johnathan Goree.
"And so a lot of times I’ve been forced to eat really salty vending machine food or really greasy late night food." said Dr. Johnathan Goree.
The CDC says most foods eaten at work do not align well with the dietary guidelines for Americans -leading to more obese workers. Dr. Goree says he was one of them.
"Part of that is because sometimes hospitals that I’ve worked at have really unhealthy food and for the past three years I’ve really tried to eat a lot more fruits and vegetables, a lot more lean protein," said Goree.
At the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Hospital dietitians have led an effort to offer healthier options to employees.
Dietitian Tonya Johnson says offering less fried foods and more plant-based meals is not only reducing absenteeism but also healthcare costs.
"Exercise and nutrition are key to healthy employees," says Johnson.
While not all companies can offer a full-service cafeteria. Every business can make healthy eating easier.
"If your company does have a vending machine your company can partner with that vending company so that they can have healthy food items available,” said Johnson.
She adds new technology is making healthy options more readily accessible to companies.
"The ingredients are good for 7 days,"
This refrigerated, free standing salad maker is now available to any size business.
Johnson says their health initiative has increased employee morale, energy and gratitude.
"Without good employees that come to work you’re not gonna have a good overall atmosphere at your facility," said Johnson.
"The best thing that a company can do is really invest in their employees and make sure they have healthy options and the ability to work out and take care of their bodies.”