Watching the Workforce Waistline: The Skinny on Lexington Medical Center's "Better Choices"
With countless holiday parties to attend and delicious food to sample, we will no doubt head into 2009 thinking about losing weight and eating healthier. Lexington Medical Center is leading a smart eating effort by encouraging healthy nutrition options for its employees in its new “Better Choices” campaign.
This innovative effort includes large pop-up posters, banners hanging from the ceiling, table tents and posters in the hospital eateries. The posters compare good food choices and better food choices. In addition, a green apple appears next to healthy menu items; that means it is low fat, has zero grams of trans-fat or is a fruit or vegetable serving.
The campaign also includes table tents at cafeteria tables titled “Did You Know?” which offer tips including how to cut calories, increase calcium intake and eat healthy in restaurants as well as the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables.
A healthy eating program not only benefits employee health, but it can make businesses more productive. According to North Carolina Prevention Partners, “Worksite health promotion and disease management programs can yield positive clinical and cost outcomes, including a decrease in health plan costs, sick leave and workers’ compensation and disability costs.”
They add that an investment in human capital is less expensive than medical treatment. According to their research, employees who are obese have high health care costs, more injuries and use more sick days than employees who are not obese across multiple industries.