New review from the BDA shows what employers can do to support healthier eating habits - and get a good return on investment10 November 2015
The British Dietetic Association (BDA) has published a new white paper ‘Work Ready Programme: Supporting healthier working lives through dietitian-led wellness initiatives’.
The BDA, founded in 1936, is the professional association for dietitians in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It is the nation’s largest organisation of food and nutrition professionals with over 8,000 members.
The paper identifies how good nutrition and hydration, alongside other healthy habits and good employment practices, keep the UK workforce healthy and productive.
There is renewed emphasis on how organisations can better support workers’ health – even the NHS has recently concluded that they need to put their own house in order to support the wellbeing of 1.3 million staff and reduce sickness absence. Given that most work places reflect society in terms of age, gender, income and ethnicity it has been accepted that they are great places for health promotion.
Organisations of all sizes offer communication channels to support behaviour change and healthier practices and the BDA’s leading nutrition experts have reviewed the evidence around how healthy eating initiatives can be integrated into places of work that have a positive ethos of health promotion – to benefit workers, customers and the organisations as a whole.
Speaking about the BDA’s interest in workplace health, BDA Chairman, Dr Fiona McCullough, said:
“UK workers spend a significant amount of time in the workplace, and some organisations are offering information and benefits to their employees to support them in adopting healthier habits. Choosing the right source of help and advice can sometimes be a confusing task. Dietitians are the ‘Gold Standard’ when it comes to nutrition and food professionals. I am passionate about flying the flag for workplace health during my time in office as BDA Honorary Chairman and am delighted we are developing the Work Ready Programme.”
Suzanne Rastrick, Chief Allied Health Professions Officer, NHS England said:
“Simon Stevens has said the NHS has got to lead by example in helping staff and hopefully other employers will follow suit. There are a number of challenges to introducing wellbeing initiatives to an organisation as complicated and vast as the NHS but, as one of the largest employers in the world, we recognise the benefits. I want to encourage the NHS to use its dietetic workforce to assist in the delivery of Simon Stevens’ initiative for our organisation and also to recommend that other organisations looking for advice use a dietitian. I believe the Allied Health Professions have among them people with the training and experience to deliver a healthier NHS workforce.”
There is a demand for programmes which measure and report change - and assess progress to ensure a continuous improvement, yet so little advice for organisations exists.
To complement the white paper, later this year, the BDA will roll out an accredited programme and framework The BDA Work Ready Programme that will enable dietitians around the UK to work with employers to bring about positive health benefits for their wider workforces – in a measurable way.
More information about the BDA’s work around workplace health, including the white paper, can be found at www.bdaworkready.co.uk/.
For more information / interview requests, please contact Daniella Wood
0800 048 1714
Notes to the Editor:
- Visit the BDA website at www.bda.uk.com
- The BDA, founded in 1936, is the professional association for dietitians in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It is the nation’s largest organisation of food and nutrition professionals with over 8,000 members. The BDA is also an active trade union affiliated to the TUC.
- Dietitians are the only qualified health professionals that assess, diagnose and treat diet and nutrition problems at an individual and wider public health level. Uniquely, dietitians use the most up to date public health and scientific research on food, health and disease, which they translate into practical guidance to enable people to make appropriate lifestyle and food choices.
- Dietitians are the only nutrition professionals to be statutorily regulated, and governed by an ethical code, to ensure that they always work to the highest standard. Dietitians work in the NHS, private practice, industry, education, research, sport, media, public relations, publishing, non-government organisations and government. Their advice influences food and health policy across the spectrum from government, local communities and individuals.
- The development of the BDA Work Ready Programme has been supported by belVita Breakfast.