Fruit bowls have become a common ‘perk’ in many workplaces and when done well they do provide a great way for everyone to get the fruit intake up to the five a day we are told is the minimum. But do they make a difference in people’s health, in particular diabetics?
A piece of UK research published in April 2017 looked a several different community, sugar tax and workplace interventions, including offering fruit and vegetables to employees and assessed the health benefit versus the cost. The Heartbeat Award scheme implemented healthy food options in cafeterias in the workplace and observed the impact on workers’ dietary patterns. The study reported the proportion of individuals who made a positive switch to healthier food options compared with non‐participating workplaces. The benefits of the workplace intervention were described by the increase in fruit consumption and the switching of milk from a high‐ to a low‐fat choice, and were assumed to affect 20% of the working population. The study established some very interesting information about our workplace fruit snacks;
- The cost per person was established at £4.99 per month. This was significantly lower than most of the other measures studied.
- 11.9% of the population studied consumed the fruit.
- HBA1C and Cholesterol readings dropped in the particpants.
So they do make a difference!