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Employers: Do As I Say, Not As I Vend

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Many companies seem to be giving workers one message in wellness mailers and another message in vending machines.

Researchers at Nationwide Better Health, a health management unit of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, Columbus, Ohio, have published data supporting that conclusion in a summary of results from a survey of 2,063 full-time U.S. workers ages 18 and older.

About 66% of the participants said they would use gym memberships, nutrition education and weight management programs if their employer offered those benefits, and only 42% say their employers’ cafeterias and vending machines offer healthy food selections, the researchers report.

About 27% of the survey participants say they eat chips, candy or some other unhealthy snack 3 or more times per week.

The percentage of workers who say they eat unhealthy snacks 5 or more times per week is 9% for workers ages 45 and over; 13% for workers ages 28 to 44; and 22% for workers ages 18 to 27.