On Monday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) took major action against the presence of partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs), the main source of artificial trans fats in our diet. Mostly found in processed food, the FDA has given food manufacturers a three-year window to either remove these harmful ingredients from their products or apply for permission to keep using them. This announcement comes on the heels of the FDA’s review of scientific evidence that shows PHOs are not “generally recognized as safe” for use in human food.
According to its news release, the FDA’s move is motivated by its goal to improve the health of Americans. (Please click for more details on the FDA’s announcement.)
This is an important and meaningful move from our government. And it’s welcome news at Lockton, where our Health Risk Solutions Consultants work with employers every day to develop and implement strategies to improve the health of their employees. This decision is yet another acknowledgment that the food we eat plays a significant role in our health, including chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
What Can Employers Do?
While food manufacturers are in the process of eliminating these dangerous ingredients from their foods, employers also can play a role in helping employees improve their diets simply by encouraging healthier choices. How?
- Consider rethinking any snack foods available in vending areas in the workplace.
- Choose healthy options for catered work meetings and other events.
- Post information on healthy eating choices in common areas. Many health insurance carriers offer such content.
- Seek out nutritional experts, many of whom offer resources online. For example, visit drannwellness.com to check out available wellness resources, including some that are free.
For More Information
If you’re interested in developing strategies to improve your employees’ health overall, contact your Lockton Account Team or your Lockton Health Risk Solutions Consultant.