It was not without some irony--coming on the heels of Thanksgiving, the great American feeding frenzy--that I noticed an article in yesterday's New York Times, "Do Health Care Savings Start in the Cafeteria?"
The article makes the now familiar point that diet is a crucial facet of our health and that companies across the country are increasingly looking to ensure their employees are eating healthy. Around this proposition, a cottage (cheese?) industry of sorts has sprung up...
The idea is to help companies move their employees to better diets that, the logic goes, will ultimately reduce their visits to the doctor's office and the operating room--thus cutting costs.
At GSK, this kind of encouragement has been in place for some time. Our cafeteria has long emphasized healthy dining choices and calorie, cholesterol, protein and sodium counts are listed with all entrees and soups. It's not impossible to find the odd cheesesteak (in Philadelphia, natch) or plenty of sweet tea (North Carolina--of course) but the overwhelming number of menu options in our cafeterias are healthy ones. This, along with incentives to exercise in company facilities and free annual health screenings have made a real impact in improving the health and productivity of GSK's thousands of employees in the US and across the globe.