British Gas pilots healthy-eating scheme

British Gas, Derby City Hospital and Nottingham County Football Club are piloting a healthy-eating scheme to help employees stay healthy during the working day.

The sessions, called Cook Well, Work Well, are provided by Let’s Get Cooking, which offers healthy cooking training, resources and support.

Staff from pilot organisations tested the sessions, which included practical cooking and tips for making better choices for breakfast, lunches and snacks during the day.

Evaluation of the pilot schemes showed that:

  • Three-quarters of staff were choosing healthier foods more often, even three months after the end of the sessions.
  • More staff made time to eat breakfast, and were generally eating a healthier meal to start the working day.
  • More staff were drinking water during the working day.
  • A number of staff reported losing weight; in some cases this was a substantial amount.
  • On average, staff said they felt better about themselves after attending the workshops, even three months later, reporting feeling more energetic, more able to concentrate and having better sleeping patterns.

Zoe Wilson, regional wellbeing manager at British Gas, said: “This is a fantastic scheme. It brings to light how the decisions we make daily affect our health and wellbeing through food.”

Vanessa Edwards, health promotion coordinator for Derby City Hospitals, added: “I know that employees have made some positive changes with regard to their own nutrition and healthy eating, and a couple of members of staff have integrated some of the information from Cook Well, Work Well into their own patient education programmes.”

Jane Pond, regional training officer for Let’s Get Cooking, who delivered the pilot sessions, said: “It is amazing how small, easy changes to what you eat can make such a difference to how you feel, and that is why our delegates were keeping up their healthier habits even months after our training.

“There is a crucial message for employers here, because by helping staff to eat better, the business will do better. Employers will have a healthier team who have more energy to do the job, which in turn can reduce the number of days when they have to find cover for sickness, and can boost productivity. It is a small investment for a big return.”

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