Furthermore, the overall high quality nutrition intake is efficiently supported with the implementation of sustainable control policies that can help monitor the employee's regularities or irregularities in gaining nutritional knowledge and/or its application. The health programs and their impact can also be effectively measured through these control policies.
Some of the American-based companies like the L.L. Bean, the mail-order outfitters shop in Freeport, NutriWork which is a consulting agency part of the Network, Inc. from Andover operating at and the Lotus Development Corporation and Xerox are all adopting the nutrition awareness programs. The L.L. Bean shop uses both online and offline sources to gather employees in huge groups and give them nutritional education as well as asks for suggestions on any nutritional upgrades and cuts that they want. NutriWork conducts conferences over a course of ten weeks whereby they highlight the benefits, needs and implementations of their nutritional programs and policies specific to the structure of the Lotus Development Corporation. Xerox publishes 60,000 copies on a quarterly basis of the "Take Charge" Newsletter that is then distributed to different companies thereof highlighting the nutritional trends and necessities in the workplace. The Control Data Corporation is one of the companies stationed in Minneapolis which receives this newsletter and uses it in a six-step "life style change" program that it implements for its employees.
There are also some public government organizations that are implementing high quality nutrition awareness programs. A good example of this is the Birmingham, Ala., where the cleaners, law enforcement officers, government officers and managers, firefighters and public service providers are all asked to take part in the soon-to-be annual Employee Wellness Program which aims to provide them all the nutritional knowledge, basics, dos and don'ts, physical fitness trends, exercises, etc. that they need to boost their personal capability and output. This they believe will decrease the overall reactionary health care finances annually at a steady rate as well as improve the overall work environment for the employees and simultaneously improve their interaction with the employers.
Use of supplements
One of the ways that nutritional intake is being increased with the U.S. is through the use of supplements which has made a huge market segment for itself especially in the past decade and is only increasing with the passage of time. From a total sales record of U.S. $8.6 billion in 1994, the sales doubled to U.S. $16 billion in the next six years alone. Balluz and colleagues in their study highlight that more then 50% of the American population relies on the use of supplements to make up for their daily nutritional intake. Many of the pharmaceutical companies and their products have been analyzed in many studies and the result showed that the supplements with the highest sales had the following ingredients in different proportions nutrients, herbals, and meal supplements. The nutrient supplements alone recorded an increase from U.S. $3.9 billion to $6.1 billion between 1994 and 2000. This resulted in the growing market for packed foods which by 2000 was recording up to U.S. $20 billion annually and is expected to increase up to at least U.S. $50 billion by the end of 2010. Even though, most nutritionists do not approve the use of supplements as a substitute for real food substances, but the stats of sales especially in the U.S. are not affected by their disapproval. Numerous studies have highlighted reports from American Dietetic Association (ADA), the Dietary Guidelines for Americans Advisory Committee, and the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine that emphasize on the rejection of supplements and the intake of the nutrition in natural food substances.
Supplement use based on the various socio-demographic characteristics of the U.S. population, CSFII 1994-96
Total sample Non-food stamp recipients Food stamp recipients
Variable (n = 9,468) (n = 8,582) (n = 886)
50 years +
Percentages are weighted. Some percentages may not total to 100 because of rounding.
Obstacles and Solutions to promote Nutrition Awareness in the Workplace
Absenteeism and presenteeism are two of the biggest obstacles for an efficient nutritional knowledge program. Absenteeism is basically the derived from the word absent and donates that an individual has a consistent and recurrent habit or inclination to be absent from work or from a responsibility. Usually the two elements that are regularly linked to high absenteeism are sickness or low motivation levels. It is very important that both these elements are handled and solved differently because currently that is nit the case. Presenteeism is, as the name suggests concerned with the regular attendance of the employees. However the problem here is that the employees show up for work when they are not up to the par physically, mentally, emotionally or motivationally. This can be due to heavy burdens that the individual has in the office or the expectations of the office for employees to show irrespective of how they are feeling. Both have a severe negative impact on the overall production levels of the company. The table below shows the percentages and reasons behind high absenteeism and presenteeism.
Reason behind high Absenteeism or Presenteeism
Percentage per reason (2008)
Mental Stress or Anxiety
Avoidance to utilize Vacation Time
One of the main points to note here is the last reason where employees want to avoid using up their vacation time-off as their sick days. Hence it is important that the manager keep the philosophies and approaches of their employees in mind when they design the potential control programs and make sure that their employees feel that their work is being valued and is demanded to be at its bests when they are at their best. One of the ways this could be done is through dividing the time-off allowed to employees into their vacation time-off and their sick time-off. A high number of 69% of the employees of various companies have shown high inclinations towards this policy and have recognized it as the reason behind decreased levels of presenteeism.
According to the Department of Labor's (DOL) statistics for fiscal year of 2007, only 57% of private industry workers overall, had access to sick leave, as a result a number of employees come to work simply to avoid a loss of pay," noted one employee.
HSE in one of their studies highlighted various reason that account for loss of workings for employees which are illustrated in the table below:
Reason behind loss of working days
Working days lost and number of population suffering due to reasons mentioned
Work load induced illness
Above 500,000 people
High work induced Stress
More then 5 million people
Depression and anxiety
12.8 million working days lost (2003/4)
Us $370 million annually
Yet another research conducted on how poor nutrition and obesity impact the workplace environment and employee turnover and input was calculated by the International Labor Office (ILO). Below is a table that illustrates the results of the study:
Underfed or unhealthy nourishment
Reduces work productivity by 20%
Lack of Iron in the body (70% of the U.S. population)
Reduces work productivity by 30%
Decreased Sugar levels
Reduces work productivity by 20%
Below is a graph that shows the obesity levels of different generations within the United States.
All of the above obstacles can be countered by following a few basic nutritional and educational steps: 1) Attaining proper sleep which means getting at least eight hours of sleep and doing so at appropriate times i.e. early to bed, early to rise phenomenon; 2) Taking a protein and calcium heavy breakfast and lunch while avoiding fatty foods; 3) Having Serotonin-heavy foods during the day to keep one's energy level up like pretzels; 4) Exercising early as that will increase the blood flow; 5) taking time out for a moderate to low vigorous pastime activity if one exercises and if one doesn't exercise then engaging in a highly vigorous pastime activity e.g. taking up a sport like boxing; 6) walking on a regular basis;7) having a high daily intake of proteins, fiber, calcium, vitamins AB and C, and iron.
Perhaps the best and most nutritional menu for a company could include some or all of the following food items (note: this is food for health, not food for taste):
Fresh Mineral Water
Fresh vegetable and/or fruit juices
Pomegranate juice as a replacement for soft drinks.
Cinnamon as a sprinkler on coffee, tea or cereals to fight off blood pressure, high sugar and high…