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Nutrition

Once assessment and planning have been completed, including analysis of the collected data, the next step is implementing the strategies and interventions that will comprise the workplace health program. These intervention descriptions include the public health evidence baseThe development, implementation, and evaluation of effective programs and policies in public health through application of principles of scientific reasoning, including systematic uses of data and information systems, and appropriate use of behavioral science theory and program planning models.2 for each intervention, details on designing nutrition interventions, and links to examples and resources.

Before implementing any interventions, the evaluation plan should also be developed. Potential baseline, process, health outcomes, and organizational change measure for these programs are listed under evaluation of nutrition programs.

Woman at copy machine Research has shown that good nutrition can help lower the risk of many chronic diseases including heart disease, stroke, some cancers, diabetes, and osteoporosis. A workplace nutrition program encourages healthy eating among all employees, emphasizing fruits and vegetables and whole grain products; low fat dairy products, lean meats, poultry, fish, and legumes; and small amounts of salt, sugar, and saturated fat. 

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.

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Health-related programs for nutrition1-5

Employee programs refer to activities that include active employee involvement such as classes, seminars, or competitions. Employee programs are frequently provided on-site at the workplace.

Offer nutrition counseling
Lactation Support Program
  • A basic lactation support program includes providing a breastfeeding employee time and a location where she can privately, comfortably, and safely express milk during the workday. Program components include  teaching employees about breastfeeding and offering professional lactation management services and support
  • Lactation support in the workplace benefits both employees and employers.  For example, employers benefit through lower health care costs and lower absenteeism from mothers not needing to stay home with sick children as often.  Additionally, employers benefit through retention of valuable, trained employees and improved public relations.  Mothers enjoy health benefits and greater peace of mind that they can still provide ideal nutrition for their infants

Tools and Resources (more)


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Health-Related policies for nutrition6

Workplace policies promote a corporate “culture of good healthThe creation of a working environment where employee health and safety is valued, supported and promoted through workplace health programs, policies, benefits, and environmental supports. Building a Culture of Health involves all levels of the organization and establishes the workplace health program as a routine part of business operations aligned with overall business goals. The results of this culture change include engaged and empowered employees, an impact on health care costs, and improved worker productivity..”

Promote a workplace healthy food policy
  • Workplaces can promote healthy eating among employees by providing nutritious foods in the company cafeteria, in the vending machines, and at worksite functions.  For example, some companies have implemented policies that require healthier food options such as salad, turkey sandwiches, and fruit, be served at meetings or other employee events
  • Worksite nutrition can be improved when developing contracts with food venders.  Suppliers can be required to include specified percentages of healthy food in recommended portion sizes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Adolescent and School Health has prepared Making It Happen!, which provides guidance on food, snack and beverage content for schools, but can be applied to worksites. 
Lactation Support Program
  • A basic lactation support program includes providing a breastfeeding employee time and a location where she can privately, comfortably, and safely express milk during the workday. Policy components include written policies to support breastfeeding women; allowing flexible scheduling to support milk expression during work; and giving mothers options for return­ing to work, such as teleworking, part-time work, and extended maternity leave

Tools and Resources (more)


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Health benefits for nutrition7

Employee health benefits are part of an overall compensation package and affect an employee's willingness to seek preventative services and clinical care.

Provide coverage for clinical nutrition counseling
  • Provide intensive dietary counseling for adults with lipid disorders and other risk factors for cardiovascular and diet-related chronic diseases
  • Counseling can be delivered in clinical settings by physicians, or specialists such as nutritionists or dieticians, and should include nutrition education and behavioral education such as self-monitoring, overcoming barriers to selecting a healthy diet, setting goals, shopping and food preparation, and social support
Lactation support program
  • A basic lactation support program includes providing a breastfeeding employee time and a location where she can privately, comfortably and safely express milk during the workday. Health Benefits components include providing coverage for breastfeeding counseling (A U.S. Preventive Services Task Force B Recommendation)

Tools and Resources (more)


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Environmental support for nutrition8-11

Environment support provides a worksite physically designed to encourage good health. Several promising approaches for changing the nutrition environment are being studied.

Workplace availability of healthy foods can affect employee nutrition
Lactation Support Program
  • A basic lactation support program includes providing a breastfeeding employee time and a location where she can privately, comfortably, and safely express milk during the workday. Environmental support components include creating designated lactation room(s) that are clean, private, comfortable spaces (non-bathroom) that do not have to be large or expensive to establish; providing high-quality breast pumps; and refrigeration to store expressed breast milk.

Tools and Resources


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