Healthier food options at the workplace can aid employee well-being: HCFI

10:33 am Health Care, Heart Care Foundation of India, Medicine, Social Health Community

Employers must consider substituting junk food with fast food

New Delhi, 24th May 2019: A new study has indicated that employees who make unhealthy purchases at the workplace tend to replicate the same outside work as well.

This can increase the risk of diabetes and heart ailments in such people as compared to those who make healthy purchases. Unhealthy food choices can also lead to obesity over time. There is a need to raise awareness on the fact lifestyle-related ailments can increase absenteeism, lower productivity, and result in higher healthcare expenses for employers.

Offering more healthful meals at work can be a promising opportunity to improve wellness among employees. Employers can consider keeping appealing and healthy options in cafeterias, vending machines, and at meetings and social events.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “Indians have a tendency of gaining more fat around the abdomen, which can lead to insulin resistance. One of the primary reasons for this is the lifestyle people lead today. On-the-go and fast-paced lives mean people skip their breakfast and end up eating unhealthy, quick-fix meals through the remainder of a day.  At work they should substitute junk food (refined carbs with trans fats) with fast food (fruits, milk, curd, salad, dry fruits, satto, lemon water, sugarcaine juice, honey).”

There should be greater emphasis on providing people with healthier options (stocking more fruits and vegetables in dorms, cafeterias, workplaces, substituting fruit for dessert, and offering free fruit).

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor-in-Chief of IJCP, said, “One should not overeat and fill the stomach to its size. The taste buds are only on the tip and side of the tongue. If you gulp food, the brain will not get signals. Eating small pieces and chewing them properly also sends signals through the taste buds. The brain gets a signal only when the stomach is 100% full. Thus, how much one can eat depends on the fullness of the stomach.

Some tips from HCFI

  • Eat less and enjoy your food by eating slowly
  • Fill half your plate with fruit and vegetables.
  • Avoid oversized portions which can cause weight gain.
  • At least half of your grains should be whole grains.
  • Limit consumption of food high in trans fats and sugar.
  • Choose healthy fats. Use fat-free or low-fat milk and/or dairy products.
  • Drink plenty of water. Avoid sugary drinks.
  • Avoid foods that have high sodium levels such as snacks, processed foods.

·     Above all, balance your food choices with your activity level.

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