Employers urged to help fight obesity through their health and wellbeing strategies

Helping employees fight obesity will lead to a healthier and in turn more productive workforce, say experts.
As National Obesity Week draws to a close, Dr Colin Waine, who chaired the national Obesity Forum for three years, has called on employers to support staff in the workplace by providing healthy food choices in canteens and organising activities.
A well developed health and wellbeing strategy can improve health, cut obesity and reduce absenteeism.
Waine said: “Obesity levels have trebled since the 1970s and we now have around 25% of the population who are clinically obese.
“Employers can help, for example where there are canteens and soft drink machines in place, by ensuring there are healthy choices available. Bigger organisations can also consider introducing workplace activities to assist staff. If you can reduce obesity among staff it will create a healthier workforce which in turn is more productive.”
The rise in obesity is so great that according to the British Heart Foundation website, a quarter of the workforce will not be able to fit into a standard office chair by 2010 due to rising levels of obesity.