April 2019 Edition
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Unhealthy food at work may up risk of lifestyle ailments: Study

May 25, 2019 | 11:45 IST | Editorial, Food, Health |

While working tirelessly for the office, we seldom take care of ourselves. We eat at different timings; we eat unhealthy foods as well.

A recent study has shown that people eating the most at Cafeteria are likely to be affected by different health diseases, especially people who opt for unhealthy foods.

The study also revealed that the people who eat at different timings than the normal tend to follow a different lifestyle even outside the office leading to poor health.

“Workplace wellness programmes have the potential to promote lifestyle changes among large populations of employees, yet to date, there have been challenges to developing effective programmes. We hope our findings will help to inform the development of accessible, scalable, and affordable interventions,” noted Jessica L McCurley, from Massachusetts General Hospital, and Harvard Medical School.

Participants were 602 Massachusetts General Hospital employees who regularly used the hospital’s cafeterias and were enrolled in a health promotion study. As part of the hospital’s “Choose Well, Eat Well” programme, foods and beverages in the hospital cafeterias have “traffic light” labels to indicate their healthfulness: green is healthy, yellow is less healthy, and red is unhealthy. Food displays have also been modified to put healthier choices in the direct line of sight, while unhealthy foods were made less accessible to reduce impulse purchases.

“Simplified labelling strategies provide an opportunity to educate employees without restricting their freedom of choice. In the future, using purchase data to provide personalised nutritional feedback via email or text messaging is another option to explore to encourage healthy eating,” said Thorndike.