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Employers Offer Nutrition Programs

Two-thirds of Canadian organizations responding to a Conference Board of Canada survey offer nutrition programs, but less than half measure the impact of their programs on employees and few organizations are aware of what their initiatives eat up in costs. It says obesity is perhaps the highest-profile issue affecting the health of Canadians. In 2008, the Public Health Agency of Canada reported that a quarter of Canadian adults were obese. “Employers have a role to play in supporting their employees on this very sensitive matter,” says Louise Chénier, a research associate. “Obesity is one of the most important risk factors for many chronic illnesses and conditions. Nutrition programs are a cost-effective way for employers to help employees have healthier diets, which lowers the risk of developing chronic diseases.” Almost two-thirds (65 per cent) of employers that responded to the survey reported that their organization actively supports healthy nutrition in the workplace and ensures that healthy food options are available to employees. Most of these programs had been implemented within the last five years. The most common initiatives were healthy selections for the on-site cafeteria (52 per cent) and healthy options for on-site catered meetings (50 per cent). Yet, only 41 per cent of organizations with nutrition-related initiatives in their workplaces measure the impact, usually by participation and satisfaction of employees.

Courtesy of Benefits and Pensions Monitor website News Alerts

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