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Are you in favour of healthy eating in the workplace?

About this article

  • Published

    30 Mar 2017

Are you in favour of healthy eating in the workplace? If so, why not take part in world-leading research to establish what works best?

Promoting good health is complicated and sometimes our well-intentioned actions have unexpected results. Although many companies are keen to promote healthy eating at work, they don’t have firm evidence to base their decisions on.

That’s why IGD has partnered with the Behaviour and Health Research Unit at the University of Cambridge. Together, we’re conducting a giant experiment involving a wide variety of workplaces across the UK.

Eligibility checklist

To ensure our experiment is robust, we need workplaces that fulfil particular criteria. Please check whether your company has any sites that are eligible.

  • My company has one or more worksites located in the UK

Of which, at least one of these has:

  • A cafeteria or restaurant for employees
  • A total workforce of 350 people or more

To measure the impact of changes, the sites must be able to collect and willing to share (in confidence) data over a 4-month period, comprising of:

  • Itemised daily till sales e.g. 24 apples sold on 5th June, 26 apples sold on 6th June etc.
  • Calorie or recipe information for food and drink items sold though tills

If you’re ticking all the above, please leave your company name and contact details here and we’ll be in touch soon.

Why is there a need to experiment?

There’s a growing recognition that if you look after the wellbeing of your people, they will be fitter, happier, more productive and loyal. Nutrition in the workplace is one vital component of this.

But encouraging healthy eating is never completely simple. You might, for example, remove everything from the menu that isn’t completely healthy but that could damage morale and encourage people to eat elsewhere or bring in their own snacks.

Changes are more likely to deliver long-lasting benefits if they encourage people to make their own healthier choices and feel positive about it. The problem is how to achieve this. The evidence is not yet available.

So with the help of our volunteer companies, IGD and the Behaviour and Health Research Unit at the University of Cambridge are conducting a giant experiment to test what works, collect and share the evidence and inspire many others to adopt the best solutions.

What would I be testing?

After an initial assessment of your facilities, we will work with you and your catering team or provider to design and implement an experiment on your site. It will need to be compatible with our plan but we will ensure a good fit for your circumstances.

It is likely to include one or a combination of these areas:

  • Labelling – providing information on the energy (kcal) content of products
  • Availability – increasing the choice of lower energy (kcal) foods and drinks
  • Sizing – adjusting the size of portions, packages and tableware

How will my company benefit?

You can gain in a variety of ways:

  • A visible commitment to your people that you care about their health and wellbeing
  • Support to ensure that any changes you make are based on sound principles and evidence
  • Opportunities for positive recognition and press coverage
  • The satisfaction of supporting ground-breaking research that ultimately benefits a huge number of people

Still need further information?

If you have any questions or would like further information please email us at healthyeating@igd.com

Other ways to get involved

This is just one strand of our Healthy Eating programme. We’re also working on how to help shoppers make the best use of nutrition information on labels and to inspire more businesses to make their products healthier.

Find out more and register to receive our free newsletter here

Updates

This collaborative programme spans the entire food chain and has been co-created by IGD and industry. 

To keep in touch as the programme develops, please sign up here to receive Healthy Eating updates.