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Healthy Eating - Benefits of Healthy Eating in the Workplace for Employers

The benefits of healthy eating for your workforce.

  • Diet-related ill health is a huge burden on the economy. Premature deaths among obese employees cost companies £1.1 billion a year.
  • Food poisoning costs £350 million to £1 billion due to lost working days.
  • Alcohol misuse among employees can cost up to £900 million a year in lost productivity through increased absenteeism, unemployment and premature death.
  • Poor nutrition is associated with an increased risk of conditions such as coronary heart disease, some types of cancer and type 2 diabetes. In the UK more than half the working population are overweight and a further 1 in 5 are classified as obese. It is estimated that 18 million working days are lost each year due to obesity.
  • Over 70% of employees support employer involvement in workplace health promotion programmes and 85% believe that workplace programmes can improve health and lower health costs.
  • Dehydration leads to poor concentration, headaches and kidney problems.
  • 87% of employees feel they would be far more productive if they took time out during their working day to exercise and eat healthily.

More information relating to this topic can be found at the NHS Live Well website.



Ill health is costly to business for a number of reasons:-

  • Cost of absenteeism and long-term sick pay;
  • Cost of temporary staff;
  • Loss of production; and
  • Retention of staff, staff turnover and early retirement.

Ill health may also contribute to:-

  • Low morale;
  • Decreased job satisfaction; and
  • Industrial injuries.

A poor diet is a substantial risk factor for:-

  • Coronary heart disease;
  • Stroke;
  • Obesity;
  • Type 2 diabetes;
  • High blood pressure;
  • Some forms of cancer; and
  • Osteoporosis.

Healthy eating contributes to the health of your business through:-

  • Increasing productivity;
  • Improving absenteeism and ability to return to work after illness;
  • Retaining staff;
  • Improving workability among older employees;
  • Creating a positive corporate image;
  • Improving the morale and health of the workforce; and
  • Helping your business achieve Health at Work awards.

Research shows that healthy eating also has a positive impact on the management of:-

  • Stress; and
  • Mental Health.

For more information for employers please consult Promoting Health Eating at work.

The Healthy Eating section of NHS Choices is also an excellent resource for more detailed information on this topic.

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