Understanding how the work environment impacts health behaviours is essential to a life course approach in public health nutrition. A roundtable event ‘Workplace Diet and Health –priorities for researchers and practitioners’ was held by the Nutrition Society in October 2022.
The overarching aims of the roundtable event were to consider:
- the relevance of nutritional wellbeing for employers and organisations,
- the research priorities for workplace diet and health and
- how researchers and practitioners can work with stakeholders in the development and testing of workplace diet and health interventions and nutritional education.
Participants represented a range of stakeholders including dietetic and nutrition professionals working in workplace health, academics and science communication with an interest in workplace diet and health, non-governmental organisations and providers of workplace nutritional health and wellbeing programmes. All roundtable participants agreed that good nutrition and access to healthy food at work was part of corporate responsibility comparable to that of health and safety provision. It was recognised that nutritional wellbeing was not seen as a priority by many companies due to the complexity and wide range of employee health and wellbeing options available and the perceived lack of clear financial benefit. Three priority areas were identified and agreed upon by roundtable participants:
- strengthening the evidence base to demonstrate the tangible benefit of nutritional wellbeing interventions in the workplace,
- creating a knowledge exchange hub to share best practices and experiences of working across sectors
- expand stakeholder engagement in workplace nutritional wellbeing