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July 10, 2006
Companies Encouraging Healthier Eating Habits

Employers are pushing healthy eating among their employees in increasing numbers, offering complimentary low-fat snacks in break rooms and providing health conscious meals at lower prices than less healthy choices, USA Today reports.

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Rockford Acromatic Products of Rockford, Illinois has replaced its free offering of doughnuts with fresh fruit, the paper reports. Meanwhile, Mortgage Lenders Network USA is planning on growing its own herbs and vegetables on the site of its new Wallingford, Connecticut headquarters and providing fruit as a complimentary snack.

Florida Power & Light, based in Juno Beach, Florida, subsidizes lunches for its employees -- if the meal is healthy. Regence Group (a four-state affiliation of Blue Cross/Blue Shield) based in Portland, Oregon offers a 35 percent discount to employees who choose healthy food. "I can get a salad for $2," one Regence employee told USA Today . "I'm more likely to pick stuff to use my discount. It encourages healthier eating options." The employee reported that she'd lost 115 pounds in the past 3 years of her employment with Regence.

The paper notes that some employers may take their healthy food 'push' a little too far, however. One practice that turns some employees off is a ban of unhealthy food at employee celebrations, such as birthdays. Substituting healthy foods for cake and other sweets at such events might be viewed as overreaching.

Source: USA Today

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