Food at work: Workplace solutions for malnutrition, obesity and chronic diseases

Discusses the importance of rest and nutrition and their potential contribution to workplace initiatives to improve health, safety and productivity. Presents a multitude of "food solutions" applicable to a variety of workplaces around the globe and shows that providing nutritious foods to workers is not only economically viable but a profitable business practice.

"Wanjek's book is worthwhile, particularly for the human rights issues that it raises and the suggestions it describes for short-term solutions. He skilfully integrated two branches of healthcare by providing historical background, a human rights angle and then suggestions for nutritional interventions in the workplace" New Agenda, South African Journal of Social and Economic Policy, Issue 25, 2007

Good nutrition, like other vital occupational safety and health issues, is the foundation of workplace productivity and safety – priority concerns shared by unions, workers, employers and governments around the world. It is well documented that unhealthy foods can lead to obesity and chronic diseases, while macro- and micronutrient deficiencies can cause malnutrition. In both these instances, the effects are detrimental to a strong, well-equipped workforce.

This comprehensive volume establishes a clear link between good nutrition and high productivity. It demonstrates that ensuring that workers have access to nutritious, safe and affordable food, an adequate meal break and decent conditions for eating is not only socially important and economically viable but a profitable business practice too.

Setting out key points for designing a meal programme, it presents a multitude of “food solutions”, including canteens, meal or food vouchers, mess rooms and kitchenettes, and partnerships with local vendors. Through case studies from a variety of enterprises in 28 industrialized and developing countries, the book offers valuable practical food solutions which can be adapted to workplaces of different sizes and with different budgets. It also addresses an often-overlooked issue in nutrition: access to clean drinking water.

Relevant laws, regulations and guides pertaining to meal breaks and workplace nutrition are also highlighted in this volume, and an extensive section containing checklists and other useful resources for unions, employers and governments is included.