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    May 9, 2017

    In Search of WELLness: Serving Sizes

    Small changes in the kitchen or break room can encourage your employees to make healthier choices.

    Healthy Eating sign with a beautiful dayIt’s so easy to over eat. Modern American food packaging and serving sizes have become far more than what our bodies need, leading many of us to become overweight and unhealthy. 

    In the work environment, desserts in the cafeteria, vending machines, and birthday parties add unnecessary calories to employees’ diets. WELL certification standards have addressed the growing concern of employee obesity.

    WELL Standard #47: Serving Sizes addresses meal sizes and outlines set sizes for cups, bowls, and plates that should be available in the workplace. 

    For companies that offer meals to employees, there should be an option to buy an entree that is 650 calories or less and is also less expensive than the regular version.

    Colorful empty shiny plate on grungy background tablePlates must be no larger than 9.5 inches, bowls no larger than 10 ounces, and cups no larger than 8 ounces. By keeping dinnerware to a reasonable size, employees are less likely to consume more considerable qualities of food and drink. 

    These small nudges are “choice architecture” to help guide our employees to make the best possible decisions.

    Markon only offers 8-ounce coffee cups in our HQ expansion space and has switched to 8-ounce soda cans. While Coke Zero is the most popular at our office, when individuals do choose a Coca-Cola Classic or a Dr. Pepper they are taking in less than 30 grams of sugar.

    The company Precise Portions has taken this a step further and offers dinnerware to organizations that, not only fits WELL Standard 47, but also suggest how much of your plate should be vegetables, protein, and carbohydrates.  Another good place to start is by addressing vending machines. 

    Companies can offer smaller sizes of sugary beverages and select only healthy snack options. Many food manufacturers offer 100-calorie serving packages, “heart healthy” snacks, and 8-ounce soda cans that help cut down on calories.

    These solutions can significantly impact employees' health and well-being while being subtle and not heavy-handed. Promoting healthy portions in the workplace is a great way to show you care about employee health. 

    Most employees have at least one meal a day at work; make it an opportunity for them to eat right!

    Original article published on LinkedIn by Ray Carney, WELL AP.

    Ray Carney

    Ray serves as Chief Executive Officer at Markon. His experience includes providing leadership, program management, organizational strategy, design thinking, data centers, and the creation of secure environments. Ray holds an MBA from University of Notre Dame and a BS in Business Administration from John Carroll...

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