Workforce nutrition

Creating a working environment that supports good nutrition is good for employees and employers.

Most people eat at least one meal at work every day, so it is important that work environments help rather than hinder making food choices that are healthy and nutritious. This is particularly critical for people who work long hours, in physically demanding jobs, and may be far away from home, whether on construction sites, in factories, or on farms.

To date, a lot of the literature around workforce nutrition focuses on interventions and policies in corporate office settings, often in high-income countries, many as a component to health and wellness programmes. Studies look at small nudges that can shift employee behaviour, as well as re-thinking the types of food that are made available on site (whether in cafeterias/canteens, communal kitchens or vending machines). While there are important lessons to be learned from these initiatives, we need more tested examples on what employers in low- and middle-income countries can do to make safe and nutritious food options more available during working hours – and how governments can support and enforce these programmes.

What are the ways in which the public and private sectors can come together to identify a common understanding and approach to workforce nutrition – what does it mean, what are the most effective interventions, who pays and who benefits?

Top resources we think matter

Reports and discussion papers: This report by Chatham House, and commissioned by Power of Nutrition, looks into "the hidden costs of malnutrition for business, and the extent to 
Case studies and tools: The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), Eat Well Global and the SUN Business Network have developed a Nutrition at Work handbook to supp
Reports and discussion papers: As part of the principles of engagement, the global members of the SUN Business Network (SBN) support workforce nutrition commitments (including br
Reports and discussion papers: This set of briefs from GAIN provides evidence to support the effectiveness of workforce nutrition programmes.
Looking for more?

We have pulled together evidence and experience to make it easy for you to find, understand and use the best available evidence and experience to stimulate public private action and investment for nutrition.