Food for thought in performance report

HR departments could help boost productivity by reviewing staff diets,
according to a dietitian who plans a major study of eating habits in the
workplace.

Penny Hunking, managing director of nutrition education company Energise, is
looking to investigate the links between dietary intake and energy levels and
is calling on HR departments to take part in the study.

"Health and welfare issues are slowly creeping up the management
agenda. But there is still more work to be done in this area," she said.

"A healthy employee is likely to take less time off sick and be more
productive and energetic while at work – both of which can have a valuable
impact on the bottom line."

HR managers contacted by Personnel Today remain sceptical, however. Mike
Morgan, HR director at Northern Foods, said, "There is something in it.
Clearly food quantities and types do have an effect on energy levels."

But he added it was unlikely staff diets would become a big issue for many
HR professionals.

Hunking is asking human resources departments to contribute to the report by
identifying up to 10 employees in their companies to complete a pre-printed
diet diary.

She is offering a free copy of her report to participating firms.

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