Committed to change

Based on the findings of its research, Herbalife is currently working with leading employers across the continent to agree a series of commitments that will address the negative consequences of stress on employees’ diet and overall nutrition. The commitments will be based on the 20 key employer recommendations identified in the study.

  1. Consider providing fresh fruit free of charge or for a very low cost throughout the work day.

  2. Reduce the offer of unhealthy foods and snacks in the workplace. Experts say workers will often eat unhealthy snacks if they are given the choice. Work towards reducing this choice.

  3. Consider bringing in a ban on employees eating meals at their desks.

  4. Implement a company-wide policy of respecting the lunch hour. Encourage workers to take their full lunch break and to leave the office.

  5. Consider introducing voucher programmes for local restaurants that encourage workers to have a sit-down meal, also enabling time to bond with colleagues and reduce stress levels. Encourage CEOs and other senior staff to eat with employees in local restaurants or on site restaurants weekly or bi-monthly to show respect for the lunch hour.

  6. Ensure adequate kitchen facilities are available on site to prepare and heat food and there are welcoming places for workers to eat self-prepared food: mess halls, breakout areas.

  7. Allow outside vendors of healthy snacks and foods such as small packets of nuts, olives, wholemeal bread, wholemeal cookies, juices and salads into the workplace and reassess large corporate catering contracts that can be a bar to healthier options.

  8. Consider banning soft drinks machines – our research shows that highly stressed workers are twice as likely to consume soft drinks than low stressed workers.

  9. Create a corporate-wide healthy culture beginning at the top of the organisation. Inform staff – via announcements, emails, company notice boards etc - that personal wellbeing comes first ahead of work productivity and targets. Implement messages that encourage workers to ‘take a break’ – go for a walk/ to the gym/for a run – rather than ‘have a snack’.

  10. Raise awareness and encourage employee engagement around healthy eating and the risks of stress, poor sleep and snacking on employee health and work performance through office training, online courses and reminders on Outlook.

  11. Lobby the government for tax relief on healthier eating habits and equipment (for example, mixers and blenders) along the lines of the UK Cycle to Work scheme, through which employers pay part of the costs of bicycles that employees use to cycle to work.

  12. Specifically target young people and graduates who, according to our research, are most vulnerable to poor eating practices.

  13. For SME companies: implement after hours eating clubs in which meals are prepared by staff on a rota basis.

  14. Implement an annual healthy eating/stress audit conducted by outside nutritionists and financed by the employer. This could produce a Personalised Nutrition Plan (PNP) including advice on switching off and healthy sleep behaviours.

  15. Create a Workplace Energy Plan or Diet with suggestions for foods that regulate mood, boost energy and reduce stress rather than sugary snacks.

  16. Create a Workplace Challenge Programme that brings together eating, exercise and lifestyle and rewards for best results.

  17. Introduce regular testing and monitoring of key health indicators such as cholesterol to increase worker awareness of health risks.

  18. Allow employees to vote on annual changes to standard canteen menus to motivate staff to choose food they want to eat. Ensure education on nutrition is part of this process.

  19. Show calories, fat, salt and sugar content on all canteen and vending machine foods.

  20. Ensure annual worker reviews assess stress, engagement and boredom levels of employees. Implement policies to ensure workers are in job posts that play to their strengths and energise them.