Employer Healthcare Strategies


Implementing Nutrition Solutions to Drive Down Healthcare Costs

Posted by Carah Counts on August 19, 2015

Implementing Nutrition Solutions to Drive Down Healthcare Costs | Carah Counts | Improving Health blog by CareATC, Inc.Proper nutrition is the foundation to a healthy lifestyle for your employees. By helping them implement changes in the way they eat now, it may reduce the chance of them developing chronic diseases in the future.

From a company standpoint, this is an enormous benefit because it can help reduce future healthcare costs. In order to motivate employees to change their nutritional habits we've rounded up 3 critical areas to address in your workplace nutrition solutions.

1. Education on Meal Planning

It’s important for employees to have the education they need to make the best possible food choices. This makes partnering with a healthcare professional, such as your on-site clinic’s primary care physician, essential for success. A physician can:

  • Recommend appropriate meal choices pertaining to your employees’ needs. An employee that has diabetes is going to have different nutritional requirements, so it's important to have a healthcare professional recommend appropriate solutions. 
  • If your company doesn’t have an on-site medical clinic, consider bringing in a nutritionist to speak with your employees. The nutritionist can suggest easy healthy recipes for employees to try at home.
  • In either approach, it is imperative that there are follow-up meetings where employees can speak with the physician or nutritionist to chart progress and share any concerns they might have. Since this can be challenging for some to implement, it’s important to offer constant support so employees take steps to alter their food choices.

2. Access to Healthy Snacks

Along with proper meal planning, giving your employees access to nutritious snacks is a great way to implement small changes in their diets. A few suggestions include:

  • Supplying bottles of water in lieu of a soda vending machine. Making filtered water easy to access will keep employees hydrated, and it can improve energy levels while reducing sugar intake.
  • Instead of having a vending machine full of sweet or salty snacks, provide fresh fruit, nuts, granola bars, and other healthy food your employees can enjoy. Not only will this help them gain the nutrition they need, many will see the effort you are putting into this and will be more willing to participate.
  • Change the "food culture" of your organization by inspiring senior employees to lead by example. Employees are more apt to participate in programs when they see their supervisors taking the initiative to do the same. It’s important to foster a positive atmosphere by being a good example to motivate employees to change.

3. Cultivate an Atmosphere of Accountability

Implementing changes will take time and discipline. With that said, it’s important that when your company decides to make these changes you build accountability along the way. You can do this by:

  • Setting up meetings either by department or company-wide where you bring in a healthcare professional who can answer questions your employees might have on nutrition. You can also use this time to share easy healthy recipes.
  • Set transparent goals that others will see. As an illustration, you can announce you are going to lose 10 pounds in the next 30 days. By setting this goal, you provide accountability because others will view your progress. If you succeed, it shows the program is working and will inspire others to do the same.


Helping your employees alter their nutritional habits will only help them in the long run by reducing their risk of developing chronic diseases. This will help them live healthier lives while reducing your company’s healthcare costs.

By using these suggestions, you can give your employees the tools they need to improve their health.

Does your company offer any kind of on-site nutrition education? Share your tips in the comments below!

Photo credit: Arya Ziai [CC BY 2.0]
Creating an Effective Workplace Wellness Program
Carah Counts

About The Author

Carah Counts

Carah is a Product Manager here at CareATC. When she's not busy working on our product strategy and roadmap, she dabbles in the occasional creative project or blog post.

Post Topics Workplace Wellness