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September 18, 2007
Employees Think They Eat Healthy at Work, but ...

Employees say that they are making healthy choices at work, but a vast majority of American workers eat an unhealthy snack at least once a week while at work, according to Nationwide Better Health, a subsidiary of the insurance company Nationwide.

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The survey found that 72 percent of employees admit to eating an unhealthy snack (chips, candy, etc.) at work at least once a week, 27 percent eat an unhealthy snack three or more times a week.

Forty-two percent employees said that there are healthy food selections in their workplace cafeterias or vending machines. More than one-third of employees (34 percent) said their jobs require them to remain at their desks for the majority of the day

Nationwide Better Health says that employers could be doing more to encourage healthy habits.

"It's encouraging to see that employees are trying to lead healthier lives at work but, as the numbers show, this is not enough to remedy the obesity epidemic," says Dr. Neil Gordon, a preventive medicine physician and Nationwide Better Health's chief medical and science officer. "The keys to maintaining the best health possible and preventing obesity and related illnesses are education and motivation. Leading a healthy lifestyle is crucial to long-term weight management--and even small changes can make a big difference when it comes to health and productivity."

Sixty percent of respondents said they would participate in gym memberships, nutrition education, and weight management programs if their employer offered them.

"Companies can provide resources that encourage their employees to eat well, stay active and, in short, live the best life possible," says Gordon. "These resources could not only help reduce health care spending for both employees and employers, but they could also help improve productivity."

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