Plant-Based Workplace Intervention

Plant-Based Workplace Intervention
5 (100%) 12 votes

Employee wellness programs may help boost the corporate bottom line.

Discuss
Republish

The food, alcohol, and tobacco industries have been blamed for manufacturing epidemics of chronic disease, but they’re just trying to sell more product like everyone else. And so if that means distorting science, creating front groups, compromising scientists, blocking public health policies, they’re just trying to protect their business.

It’s not about customer satisfaction, but shareholder satisfaction. How else could we have tobacco companies, for example, continuing to produce products that kill one in two of their most loyal customers?

Civil society organizations concerned with public health have earned a reputation for being “anti-industry,” but the issue is not industry, but that sector of industry whose products are harmful to public health. We like the broccoli industry. In fact, the corporate world might end up leading the lifestyle medicine revolution.

The annual cost attributable to obesity alone among full-time employees is estimated at $70 billion, primarily because obese employees are not as productive on the job. Having healthy employees is good for the bottom line. Every dollar spent on wellness programs may offer a $3 return on investment. And if you track the market performance of companies that strive to nurture a culture of health, they appear to outperform their competition.

That’s why companies like GEICO are exploring workplace dietary interventions. The remarkable success at GEICO headquarters led to an expansion of the program at corporate offices across the country, with test sites from San Diego to Macon, Georgia. Given that previous workplace studies have found that workers who ate a lot of animal protein had nearly five times the odds of obesity, whereas those who ate the most plant protein appeared protected, obese and diabetic employees were asked to follow a plant-based diet of whole grains, vegetables, beans (split peas, chickpeas, and lentils), and fruit, while avoiding meat, dairy, and eggs. Compliance wasn’t great. Fewer than half really got their animal product consumption down, but there were definitely improvements, significant reductions in saturated fat, and an increase in protective nutrients. But enough to make a difference? Yes; weight dropped, blood cholesterol dropped, and there was better blood sugar control in diabetics.

And this was with no calorie counting, no portion control, no exercise component. The weight reduction appears to result from feeling fuller, earlier, due to higher dietary fiber intake. The difference in weight loss could also be the result of an increase in the thermic effect of food, allowing a small extra edge for weight loss in the vegan group. Those eating plant-based diets tend to burn off more calories in heat.

Eating plants appears to boost metabolism. This may be due to increased insulin sensitivity in our cells, allowing cells to metabolize carbohydrates more quickly rather than storing them as body fat. As a result, vegan diets have been shown to increase postprandial calorie burn by about 16%, up to three hours after consuming a meal.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Katie Schloer.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to neshom via Pixabay.

The food, alcohol, and tobacco industries have been blamed for manufacturing epidemics of chronic disease, but they’re just trying to sell more product like everyone else. And so if that means distorting science, creating front groups, compromising scientists, blocking public health policies, they’re just trying to protect their business.

It’s not about customer satisfaction, but shareholder satisfaction. How else could we have tobacco companies, for example, continuing to produce products that kill one in two of their most loyal customers?

Civil society organizations concerned with public health have earned a reputation for being “anti-industry,” but the issue is not industry, but that sector of industry whose products are harmful to public health. We like the broccoli industry. In fact, the corporate world might end up leading the lifestyle medicine revolution.

The annual cost attributable to obesity alone among full-time employees is estimated at $70 billion, primarily because obese employees are not as productive on the job. Having healthy employees is good for the bottom line. Every dollar spent on wellness programs may offer a $3 return on investment. And if you track the market performance of companies that strive to nurture a culture of health, they appear to outperform their competition.

That’s why companies like GEICO are exploring workplace dietary interventions. The remarkable success at GEICO headquarters led to an expansion of the program at corporate offices across the country, with test sites from San Diego to Macon, Georgia. Given that previous workplace studies have found that workers who ate a lot of animal protein had nearly five times the odds of obesity, whereas those who ate the most plant protein appeared protected, obese and diabetic employees were asked to follow a plant-based diet of whole grains, vegetables, beans (split peas, chickpeas, and lentils), and fruit, while avoiding meat, dairy, and eggs. Compliance wasn’t great. Fewer than half really got their animal product consumption down, but there were definitely improvements, significant reductions in saturated fat, and an increase in protective nutrients. But enough to make a difference? Yes; weight dropped, blood cholesterol dropped, and there was better blood sugar control in diabetics.

And this was with no calorie counting, no portion control, no exercise component. The weight reduction appears to result from feeling fuller, earlier, due to higher dietary fiber intake. The difference in weight loss could also be the result of an increase in the thermic effect of food, allowing a small extra edge for weight loss in the vegan group. Those eating plant-based diets tend to burn off more calories in heat.

Eating plants appears to boost metabolism. This may be due to increased insulin sensitivity in our cells, allowing cells to metabolize carbohydrates more quickly rather than storing them as body fat. As a result, vegan diets have been shown to increase postprandial calorie burn by about 16%, up to three hours after consuming a meal.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Katie Schloer.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to neshom via Pixabay.

Doctor's Note

I detailed the pilot study that started it all in Slimming the Gecko.

Imagine how much money companies can save! See, for example:

More on some of the downsides of corporate influence in videos like Collaboration with the New Vectors of Disease and Taxpayer Subsidies for Unhealthy Foods

2018 Update: I just did a new series on the CHIP program. Check it out:

 If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This