Nutrition in the Workplace

Nutrition in the Workplace

National Nutrition Week took place from 9 to 15 October 2015. The theme was ‘Healthy Eating in the Workplace”.

National Nutrition Week is a joint initiative by the Department of Health, The Association for Dietetics in South Africa (ADSA), the Nutrition Society of South Africa (NSSA), the Consumer Goods Council of South Africa (CGCSA), the Heart and Stroke Foundation South Africa (HSFSA) and the Consumer Education Project of Milk SA (CEP). So in the spirit of National Nutrition Week, I wish to share with you some tips and pointers to help you make more healthy choices in the Workplace.

Tips to help you make better and healthier choices in the workplace:
  • Before grabbing a snack, first ask yourself if you are really hungry or if you rather need to take a break from what you are doing. Going for a short walk or getting some fresh air – may be all you need.
  • Drink a glass of water first, you may simply be dehydrated.
  • Think before you buy snacks, often just seeing tempting snacks will stimulate appetite and not actual hunger
  • Don’t allow yourself to get to that ravenous hunger stage, snack on healthy foods between meals
  • Don’t skip meals or healthy snacking between meals. Skipping meals & snacks results in dips in blood glucose (sugar) levels and thus you will be more likely to crave unhealthy foods
  • If you do choose to have a treat, choose the smallest portion size
  • Consider sharing treats with friends or colleagues at work
  • Water is the best drink. When you choose to buy a beverage (other than water) choose sugar-free drinks (Zero option) instead of sugar laden drinks
Why do you want to make healthy choices in the workplace?

The World Health Organization (WHO) has conducted a review of interventions to improve diet and exercise found multi-component interventions were effective that:
– provide healthy food and beverages at the workplace
– provide space for fitness or encourage stair use
– involve the family
– provide individual behaviour-change strategies

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has found similar results, as they say that research has shown that a healthy diet and good nutrition can:

  • Promote weight management and reduce the risk of obesity
  • Reduce the risk of developing high cholesterol, or reduce cholesterol in those who already have high cholesterol
  • Reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, and
  • Reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure or reduce blood pressure in those who already have high blood pressure

Nutrition programs are often combined with physical activity programs  which provides a holistic approach to health!