Boosting Health Where We Work
The Physicians Committee’s Food for Life Employee Wellness Program sounds like an innovative way of helping employers cut costs and employees improve their health. But it is much more than that. It is a way to help individuals and their families revolutionize their lives.
PCRM’s research has shown that diet changes have a dramatic effect on health. The next question is how to bring these findings to the population at large, and the answer is straightforward: Go to where people spend their day, and that means the workplace.
The program includes the elements used in PCRM’s successful GEICO study: simple nutrition classes in a supportive group environment and plant-based options in the cafeteria.
The latest findings from the 10-city GEICO study, which were recently published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that a low-fat, plant-based diet combined with a weekly nutrition education program helps employees lose weight, lower cholesterol, and improve diabetes.
Along with GEICO, several other companies have participated, including the Whirlpool Corporation, PEPCO, Sony Pictures, the U.S. Departments of Justice and Transportation, NASA, and the U.S. Postal Service.
A healthy workplace benefits both employees and employers. Obesity comes with a hefty price tag. In 2010, the total cost of obesity in the workplace was estimated to be $73.1 billion, 41 percent of which could be related to reduced productivity.
“This program gives employers a unique opportunity to improve the health and wellness of their employees,” says Physicians Committee president Neal Barnard, M.D. “And the results then spread to their families, friends, and communities.”
Learn more about the Employee Wellness Program >