One major goal in wellness is to offer accurate health information to our employees. It seems logical to let the “experts” handle this important job, but buyer beware – they don’t always get it right. Whether it be financial wellness, fitness classes, or nutrition seminars; employers need to vet out their vendors and fact check their programs before offering them to employees.
In today’s world of information overload many of us are misinformed on wellness topics like weight loss, nutrition, and fitness. Too many so-called “wellness” products are simply marketing vehicles and a lot of the health crazes out there tend to make vague and exaggerated claims in hopes that consumers will blindly jump on the bandwagon. Here’s an example: let’s say you pay a vendor to set up a healthy breakfast for employees and they bring in a “Greek” style yogurt. It says on the container that it’s non-fat and natural (sounds healthy to me!) – but if you take a look at the nutrition facts, each serving may have as much added sugar as a bag of candy. Not so healthy after all.
Unfortunately, misled consumers are more interested in trendy weight-loss products than good-old-fashioned fruits, veggies, and calorie-burning exercise. A registered dietician, and trusted vendor of ours, offers corporate seminars that debunk nutrition myths and promote sticking to “real” food. She explains how there’s no magic bullet for weight loss or superfood for good health. Swallowing a tablespoon of coconut oil every morning is not the key to losing those extra 20 pounds. Coconut oil is a saturated fat, just like butter or lard, but the coconut oil marketing team did a better job at persuading us of its magical powers.
Advocate for the wellbeing of your employees – the bottom line is to give them the tools to make healthier lifestyle choices and avoid preventable medical conditions and the hefty medical costs associated with them. If you want to host a “healthy happy hour” or an “ice cream social” to improve employee morale then knock yourself out – just make sure the vendor isn’t making claims that the ice cream is “heart-healthy” if it’s not.