Public Health Dietitians support and encourage workplaces and their caterers to adopt a ‘whole workplace’ approach to healthier eating. Caterers are encouraged to provide a healthy eating environment and healthy food choices on their menus.
As more and more people are eating outside the home, caterers have an increasing influence on what people eat. Therefore, they play a key role in shaping the nations future health.
There are two Award Schemes which reward caterers for their effort and commitment in providing healthy food choices within a healthy environment.
Eating Well in the Workplace
Adults working full time spend around 60% of their waking hours in their place of work and consume at least a third of their daily calorie allowance during their working day. Therefore the workplace setting clearly has a key role to play in supporting and encouraging adults to make healthier food choices. The captive audience within the workplace makes it an ideal setting to promote healthy eating.
Employers are now recognizing that by actively encouraging good health amongst their employees and creating a healthy working environment makes sound business sense. It not only improves staff morale and motivation but it also leads to a healthier, happier workforce with less sickness absences. Businesses are being encouraged to invest in the well being of their workforce.
Employers should actively encourage their staff to make small, simple improvements to their diets and promote an increase in physical activity amongst staff which in turn could make a real difference to the health of their workforce.
For employers promoting healthy eating means:
- ensuring that all employees have access to a balanced range of food and drinks. Ensuring healthy food choices are available to staff at all times for example in workplace restaurants, vending machines and during staff meetings and training sessions.
- raising awareness of how diet contributes to staff health and well being.
Workplaces could organize events to promote healthier eating or could run food related campaigns throughout the year.
The Workplace Nutrition Resources and Useful Websites listed below may help you and your workplace plan healthy eating initiatives whether it be running nutrition related workshops or cookery demonstrations with staff or setting up healthy eating displays.
Choose To Lose @ Work
ChooseToLose@Work is an online resource to support people to set up simple weigh in sessions for staff and colleagues in their workplace. It offers a 10 week online programme to help people develop healthier eating habits and get more active. The webpage has links to downloadable resources, self monitoring worksheets, mobile apps, online quizzes and useful links.
ChooseToLose@Work encourages individuals to take personal responsibility for managing their own weight. It promotes self monitoring strategies such as regular weight checks, diary keeping and setting small, realistic and achievable goals. The online session plans can support co-ordinators who want to deliver simple weigh-and-go sessions as well as those who want to deliver more detailed information each week.
Eating a healthy, well balanced diet is essential for good health and can help maintain a healthy body weight and improve positive well being. It can also help reduce the risk of certain diseases and illnesses such as coronary heart disease, obesity, strokes, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers.
The Eatwell Guide is a policy tool that defines the Governments recommendation’s on healthy diets, it makes healthier eating easier to understand. It visually illustrates the types and proportions of foods needed for a healthy and well balanced diet.
This model includes everything you eat during the day, including snacks.
- Download The Eatwell Guide and use as a handout to staff, it has a section on the back which has tips for eating well and a section to record personal dietary targets.
- Explore the Interactive Eatwell Guide.
- There is also a South Asian Eatwell Plate
- Find out more about The Eatwell Guide – This booklet contains practical tips on eating well.
Visit NHS Choices – Food and Diet for more information on eating a healthy diet.
Are your meetings at work promoting healthy living among staff?
The Scottish Cancer Prevention Network has developed a Healthy Meeting Scorecard, which focuses on ten highlights that regular meeting attenders agree, represent important examples of good practice for healthy meetings. They do not include every aspect of a healthy diet or active living but provide a brief checklist to help support meeting organisers.
- Visit our Campaigns for more information and downloadable resources.
Over the week CASH – Consensus Action on Salt & Health remind us that eating too much salt is bad for our health – it raises blood pressure, leading to strokes and heart attacks, and that by simply eating less we can improve our health and save lives.
- 75% of the salt we eat is hidden in the food we buy. Check the labels and switch to less salt!
- Adults should eat no more than 6g of salt a day – that’s around one teaspoon and children should eat even less.
Switch To Less Salt
Use FoodSwitch to see what’s in your shopping basket, and make better food choices when shopping for you and your family.
Salt : The Facts – NHS Choices
Get Britain Standing – April 24th 2015
Challenge yourself to sit less and stand more at work. Evidence suggests that sitting more than 4 hours each day may be detrimental to your health. According to On Your Feet Britain – you can burn 50 calories more an hour standing rather than sitting!
Ditch Your Desk – sit less stand more@work:
- Keep moving around, take frequent breaks, set an alarm on your phone or computer to remind yourself to get up and get moving.
- Take the stairs instead of the lift or walk up the escalator.
- Why not walk to a colleagues desk instead of emailing or phoning.
- Have walking meetings.
- Move your bin away from your desk so you have to get up to put something in it.
- Eat lunch away from your desk.
- Go a walk after lunch with a few colleagues.
Workplace Nutrition Resources
Below are some nutrition resources which you may find useful when planning healthy eating events, developing information displays or simply promoting healthier eating in your workplace.
Workplace Resource Leaflet
- Nutrition and Oral Health Resources for Workplaces – This leaflet highlights some nutrition resources and websites that workplaces might use to promote nutrition and oral health.
Leaflets, Posters and Useful Documents
Eat Well, Feel Great – Leaflets
Set of 8 leaflets which support the Scottish Governments key dietary targets.
- Eat Well Feel Great – Healthy Eating
- Eat a variety of fruit…as part of your 5 a day.
- Eat a variety of vegetables…as part of your 5 a day
- Eat breakfast…every day
- Eat fish at least…twice a week
- Sprinkle less salt…taste more
- Eat some starchy food…at each meal
- It’s clear…drink more water
Alternatively you can order copies of each of these booklets from our Health Improvement Resource Service (HIRS)
Healthy Packed Lunches BDA Fact Sheet.
- The Eatwell Plate Flier. There is also a South Asian Eatwell Plate
- Eatwell Poster – Available from Health Improvement Resource Service (HIRS) – Resource code(s): NUT 21/P and NUT 22/P
Displays and Teaching Kits
Eatwell – Activity Floor Mat and Food Models
This resource can be used in a vast number of ways and can be an effective tool to promote healthy eating messages amongst children, teenagers and adults.
- Available from Health Improvement Resource Service (HIRS) – Resource code(s): NUT 73/K1, NUT 73/K2.
- A similar South Asian Display is available from Health Improvement Resource Service (HIRS) – Resource code(s): NUT 100/k .
This resource raises awareness of the amount of added sugars in common snack foods and drinks.
- Available from Health Improvement Resource Service (HIRS) – Resource code: NUT 74/K1.
Workplace Desktop and Drawer Snack Display
This display contains a wide range of healthy snacks which could be kept in your desk at work.
- Available to borrow from: Health Improvement Resource Service (HIRS) – Resource code: WKH 12/K.
Workplace Swap and Save Display
This resource box contains a wide range of healthy and unhealthy snack food and drink models. Sugar and fat cubes have been used in this display to visually illustrate the amount of sugar and fat in everyday snack foods/drinks.
- Available to borrow from: Health Improvement Resource Service (HIRS) – Resource code: WKH 14/K.
Teaching Kits and Toolboxes
- ChangeforLife Employers Guide – An Employers Toolkit has been developed to help employers pass on healthy lifestyle information to their workforce.
Please note: Change 4 Life is an England Only campaign, so if you live in Scotland or Wales you will not be able to register and cannot be sent any of the campaign resources. However you may find some of the information, downloadable resources and links useful.
- Health at Work Toolkit – This Toolkit provides an in-depth guide to promote physical activity, healthy eating and mental well being in the workplace. The toolkit includes practical ideas, tools and information needed to successfully organize health at work initiatives.
- The Smile File This web-based resource gives advice, ideas and information on oral health and good nutrition in the workplace.
Quizzes and Questionnaires
- Customer Satisfaction Questionnaire Does your workplace have a staff restaurant or any food provision for your staff? Would you like to assess how happy your staff is with the food provision your company has on offer?
- Want to find out how healthy you are? Why not try the One You – How are you? Quiz.
- What do you know about the food you eat This quiz produced by the British Heart Foundation is designed to test what you know about the food you eat.
British Dietetic Association
- Food Facts – The British Dietetic Association produce a range of Food Fact Sheets which can be downloaded or printed off. They have fact sheets on a wide range of topics including Healthy Eating, Healthy Packed Lunches, Alcohol, Food and Mood and many more..
- BDA – Work Ready! – Find out why a health workforce is good for your business.
- Get the practical ideas, tools, resources and information you need to successfully organize healthy eating initiatives in your workplace.
Eat Better Feel Better can help you make changes to how you shop, cook and eat, so you and your family can eat better and feel better. From tips to recipes to advice, you’ll find all the help you need.
The healthy living award rewards caterers in Scotland for dishing up healthier food and helping their customers make better food choices. Visit the Healthy Living Award website for details of how to apply for the award, to find out establishments in your area that currently hold the award and download some healthy living recipes.
- Workplace Health – This web page has information on how to improve your health at work. It has suggestions on how to beat the energy slump, how to avoid back pain at work, relaxation tips for stress and more..Why sitting too much is bad for your health?
- Food and Diet – This web page has information on how to make your diet healthier and it has links to useful tools for example a BMI Healthy Weight Calculator and a 5 a day meal planner.
- This Scottish Government Campaign encourages individuals to make small changes in their lifestyle which will in turn reduce their risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
Workplace Nutrition Staff
- Pamela Murray – Public Health Dietitian. Based at Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Admin Offices, Falkirk Community Hospital, Westburn Avenue, Falkirk, FK1 5SU.