By Daniel Hunter

An estimated 12 million British workers suffer from ‘Nutrition Attrition’ and say “No Way!” to their Five-a-Day, reducing their ability to work effectively, according to new vielife data.

Data records of over 40,000 working adults in the UK from vielife online health and wellbeing assessments show that 36 percent of working people have poor nutrition, creating personal health risks and losing 3.5 weeks of productive time each per year - an urgent wake-up call for employers and businesses.

Only one out of ten people said they eat the recommended six portions of fibre per day and less than one in five people manage to eat their five portions of fruit and vegetables.

The study shows the emergence of four ‘Nutrition Attrition’ factors impacting the workplace. Poor levels of nutrition amongst workers are closely linked to poor job satisfaction, low resilience to stress, higher absenteeism and reduced productivity.

Nutrition Attrition: The facts:

Job Satisfaction suffers: People with a ‘good’ nutrition score have a 6% higher job satisfaction score and 15% higher mood score than people with a ‘poor’ nutrition score.

Stress levels increase: 38% of people with a poor nutrition score have high stress compared to 19% of people with good nutrition.

Absenteeism increases: Respondents with poor nutrition scores report 50% more sickness absence than those with good nutrition scores. That’s 4.8 days per year per employee against 3.2 days per year, costing the average UK organisation an extra 576 days for every 1000 people employed.

Productivity declines: People with poor nutritional balance report being 15% less productive than those with good nutritional balance. This equals 2.8 hours per week difference, or for a 46 working week year, 16 days of lost productive time per employee.

“UK firms cannot afford to ignore the impact of Nutrition Attrition which is not only rivalling but also contributing to rises in other big personal and work life issues like sleep and stress," Tony Massey, vielife’s chief medical officer, said.

The data is based on ‘nutrition scores’ recorded by users of vielife’s online health and wellbeing platform. A nutrition score indicates the overall quality of the individual’s dietary habits and is a part of a wider ‘wellbeing score’ used to help people identify and work to improve their health issues. This research was based on over 40,000 assessments of people employed in Europe taken between 2009 and 2011.

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