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Want a Healthy Workforce? Shift Your Wellness Program Away From Diets.

August 1, 2014, 9:30 AM

What's the Latest?

We've already covered how employers are fighting rising health premiums by encouraging (and sometimes coersing) employees into adopting healthier lifestyle habits. Wellness programs are on the rise and many have shown positive results both financially and with regard to employee health. Others, though, have produced "insignificant" results. What's the difference between a successful wellness program and one that gets brandished with terms such as "insignificant" or "limited?" It's all a matter of tactics and priorities.

What's the Big Idea?

Take, for example, this article in Lab Manager Magazine profiling a recent study from the University of Missouri. Researchers found workplaces that solely rely only on diets tend to produce results that are -- well -- insignificant. Alternatively, employers who dedicate themselves to promoting programs such as "Eat for Life" (which, not coincidentally, was developed by the same researcher who headed the study), enjoy more fruitful long term results.

From the Lab Manager Magazine article:

“Eat for Life offers a non-diet approach to weight management,” said Lynn Rossy, a health psychologist for the UM System. “Traditional wellness programs focus on weight challenges in which participants are repeatedly weighing themselves. These actions can help participants initially lose weight, but often, people gain the weight back when the challenge is gone and the program is over.”

Eat for Life promotes mindfulness and intuitive eating to help individuals get in tune with their body's eating impulses. It promotes responsible eating habits as well as a positive outlook with regard to body image. Dr. Rossy's research proved her system is superior in the long-term to weight competitions and other diet-based strategies pervasive in today's wellness programs. Employers looking for an approach that will bring long term results should look into giving Eat for Life a try.

Read more at Lab Manager Magazine

Photo credit: sharpshutter / Shutterstock


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