Overweight and obesity are increasing in epidemic proportions and are afflicting not only adults, but youth as well. Eating is one behavior that is greatly influenced by the workplace. Work is where many people spend the majority of their waking hours.
Foods in cafeterias, vending machines, on your desk or shared by fellow employees make up your worksite’s nutrition environment. Vending machines may be the only source of food-for-sale in a work place. Employees may use vending machines not only for snacks but sometimes for a meal.
Nutrition Environment Measures Survey-Vending (NEMS-V) was developed to evaluate the worksite vending machine environment. This survey builds on the nationally recognized Nutrition Environment Measurement Survey (NEMS) tools from University of Pennsylvania, that measure the availability of healthy food and beverage choices in the grocery store, convenience store or restaurant.
Since 2010 Siouxland District Health Department has been working with vending companies and businesses to improve the nutrition environment at the worksite using the NEMS-V tool. Businesses throughout Woodbury County have improved the percent of healthy food and beverage choices within their vending machines.
Worksites that have completed an initial NEMS-V assessment, made improvements and identified healthier options in machines, completed a post assessment and have met the goal of over 30% healthy options:
- CF Industries
- Gelita USA
- Hospice of Siouxland
- June E Nylen Cancer Center
- Mercy Hospital
- Palmer Candy Co
- American Popcorn Company
- Sioux City Foundry
- Siouxland Community Health Center
- Siouxland District Health Department
- Siouxland Paramedics Inc.
- Unity Point Health-St. Luke’s
Snack machine with messaging and product pushers help encourage the consumer to pick a healthier option and the yellow and green stickers in the beverage machine also help identify the healthier beverage option.
For more information on adding healthier food and beverages to the machines at your workplace have your wellness committee or HR department contact your vendor. If you are a worksite located within Woodbury County and are interested in having the NEMS-V assessments completed to show percent of increase, please email Angela Drent, Health planner at Siouxland District Health Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 712-279-6119.