In observance of this year’s Nutrition Month celebration, the Regional Conciliation and Mediation Branch and National Nutrition Council –CAR partnered in the promotion of Weight Management in the Workplace, through an in-house learning session on July 28, 2021.

“Eating a healthy and balanced meal is important since diet plays a vital role in our health”, says Director Lourdes P. Estioco.

Nutrition Officer II Velanie Dao-ines of the National Nutrition Council-CAR oriented the staff on the first 1000 days of life. She emphasized that this period is the golden window of opportunity as a child’s future health conditions depend on how these initial days were looked after.  

Much insight was acquired from the talk of Ms. Donna Leen L. Basongit, a private nutritionist dietician.  She stressed that obesity is not always about weight and body frame.  It is also due to poor food choices, food addiction, lack of physical activity, genetics, health condition, poor sleep, and emotions.  

Discussions also dwelt on the effects of obesity on the employee, workplace, and  employer.  Ms. Basongit said that obese workers are more prone to absenteeism, disability, lost productivity, and an increase in medical costs.  Further, obesity gives an impression of burnout setting thus, slowing down the turnover of tasks.  Employers, on the other hand, may face increased insurance claims, compensation and absenteeism.

To address these challenges, the speaker stated that the workplace is an ideal setting to prevent and treat obesity.  “These can be done through the promotion of healthy eating habits, physical activity, improvement of work environment and support from co-workers and employers. When these practices are adopted, much can be saved,” she added.

The session ended with a reminder that obesity is preventable and reversible and that employers should take a stand on improving the employees’ health.

This endeavor was done to educate the branch personnel on various measures in preventing obesity and overweight within its workforce.

Lyla Jane B. Tacio