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Businesses can help to reduce obesity, says doctor

18th November 2008

Businesses can take steps to help employees reduce salt and fat intake, the former chairman of the National Obesity Forum has suggested.

Dr Colin Waine is currently the visiting professor at the University of Sunderland and previously chaired the forum which aimed to raise awareness of the effects obesity has on the NHS and its patients.

He said this week there is a lot companies can do to ensure the meals eaten at work by staff are part of a healthy diet.

Canteens or facilities could be geared towards providing food that is low in saturated fat and salt yet still tasty, while the intake of fruit and vegetables could be increased.

In addition, exercise facilities on site may encourage people to increase their level of activity, which when combined with healthier eating could lead to fewer absences due to sickness.

“It’s a win-win situation,” Dr Waine said. “The two things together would actually lead to a healthier workforce.”

According to the NHS, about 9,000 deaths are caused by obesity in England every year.

Some two-thirds of UK adults are considered to be overweight or obese.

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