Could improved nutrition save UK employers billions?
‘The Nutrition Gap’ is becoming an increasingly popular phrase to describe a growing gap between the nutrients we need and those we actually consume. According to The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD, 2017) it is fuelling a diet-related health crisis with spiralling rates of non-communicable diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and certain forms of cancer in the UK (according to cancer Research UK four in 10 cancers could be prevented through lifestyle).
The Royal College of Psychiatry recently stated that food choices don’t just impact physical health. One of the most obvious, yet under-recognised factors in the development of major trends in mental health is the role of nutrition.
According to the NHS, the majority of children, young people and adults in the UK are not eating a healthy diet - three quarters are failing to eat the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables each day. 64 per cent of adults in the UK are classed as being overweight or obese and treating obesity and its consequences in England alone currently costs the NHS £16 billion every year. This is more than the £13.6 billion per year spent on the fire and police services combined.
People are living longer but spending more years in ill health. Much of this is due to poor diets, which, while energy rich, are deficient in many essential nutrients.
In the workplace
Business in the Community recent statistics report that poor eating habits in the UK cost employers around £17 billion a year or 97 million lost working days whilst a 2012 study done at Brigham Young University reports that employees with an unhealthy diet are 66 per cent more likely to experience a loss in productivity. A company with 1,000 staff could be losing £126,000 a year in productivity due to obesity-related problems alone.
The UK workforce is lacking educational support in nutrition and how it relates to physical and mental health. This includes macronutrient balance and the vitamins and minerals needed to promote health, how they relate to the nervous system and functions in the body and how to effectively manage the relationship between human health, stress and food on a consistent everyday basis.
There is therefore a growing awareness of the importance of nutritional education in the workplace.
SuperWellness is the go-to provider of nutrition-centred wellbeing programmes nationwide for businesses with a pastoral and forward thinking approach to employee performance, care and benefits: employers who are committed to creating an outstanding employee value proposition.
The Nutrition Discovery Session
With nutrition often the missing piece of the puzzle for employers, even those with a mature wellbeing strategy in place, we’ve designed the Nutrition Discovery Session as a first step towards integrating nutrition within your wellbeing strategy. Its aim is to provide:
- A fun, engaging, eye-opening experience for employees
- Increased senior leadership awareness of and buy into workplace nutrition
- Valuable insights to inform your business case and future planning
Sessions are available nationwide, and run from 09.30am to 1.30pm at your workplace. Requiring no longer than 1 hour out of participants’ work day they create very little disruption. A session includes:
- A 30 minute workshop focusing on food, brain body chemistry, stress and energy anybody can drop into.
- A fun quiz and prizes included
- Body composition testing and nutritional advice from qualified nutritionists for up to 42 people, including a printed report
- Fact sheets and recipe handouts
- Full promotional support
During a session practitioners are able to demonstrate the practical adjustments individuals can make every single day that can help eliminate food cravings, low-mood, anxiety and stress and help boost mental wellbeing and energy levels, just by understanding how it is possible to positively influence brain and body chemistry.
The introductory talk is 30 minutes (usually 09:30-10:00) and focuses on the relationship between food choices and physical wellbeing as well as its impact on brain chemistry and the link with anxiety, low mood and stress. Staff members are introduced to the nutrition habits of highly effective people and the ramifications of poor food choices over time, alongside the fundamentals of a good diet – why we get food cravings and how to eliminate them, the foods to avoid and the best way to get the nutrients needed daily. Facilitators also cover some simple steps around implementing nutritional advice to improve key indicators connected with energy and performance.
Body Composition Testing
Employees are invited to pre-book to perform a bio-impedance test to determine weight, body fat percentage, muscle mass, visceral fat and metabolic age. The SuperWellness nutritionists help join the dots between the numbers and health risk factors.
Tailored advice is given so that employees take away concrete actions they can implement straight away to begin experiencing benefits very quickly.
Employee Wellbeing Insights
As part of the booking process, each participant will be asked to complete a standardised health and wellbeing questionnaire, allowing us to provide you with an overall report on areas including healthy eating and hydration, physical activity, alcohol consumption, smoking, mental health and engagement at work. This expanded version of Public Health England’s wellbeing assessment also includes insights into practical barriers to healthy habits and specific health concerns.
During the discovery session, we gather feedback from employees including future topics of interest and motivation to participate in a future programme. This information is included in the employer report along with specific feedback on the event itself.
Corporate special offer
Regardless of the numbers of employees on site, each site participating in a Nutrition Discovery Session also receives a complimentary subscription to the SuperWellness Monthly Plan for Workplace Wellbeing for a period of one year from the time of booking.
The Monthly Plan provides everything you need in order to promote wellbeing and nutrition to your employees on a regular basis.
Designed to provide ongoing engagement with eye-opening, evidence based content, each month the workplace wellbeing package includes:
- A new printable poster, focused on a seasonal health campaign or theme.
- Two seasonal recipes (including one vegan or vegetarian recipe).
- A 350word article to include in your staff newsletter or post on your intranet.
- A fascinating recorded webinar focusing on the topic (which your employees will be able to access at any time throughout the month).
This is by far the most cost effective way to participate in the monthly plan which normally costs between £719 and £2,388 for 12 months, depending on headcount.
For further information about organising a Nutrition Discovery Session and the incentives available please visit our website or get in touch by emailing email@example.com or call us on 0845 370 4070
This article is sponsored by Superwellness.
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