Resources and Information

Whether your desire is to increase productivity, lower health care costs or reduce absenteeism, we have workshops, seminars, and/or employer-sponsored Medical Nutrition Therapy to help you.  Holistic Nutrition International LLC develops and implements successful nutrition programs for companies who are interested in saving money while educating staff and/or clients on nutrition and wellness.   Contact our Corporate Wellness Coordinator for details on an individualized package tailored to meet your corporate needs.

Why your company needs a Corporate Wellness Program…

The success of any company depends greatly on the productivity and work performance of its human resources.  The ability to function and perform at a high level consistently is greatly aided by an employee wellness program.   The implementation of such programs has been beneficial for both the employees and the company’s bottom line.   

Here are the top ten reasons why your company could benefit from an Employee Wellness Program:

  •  Decreased Health Care Costs
  •  Improved Work Place Morale
  •  Reduced Absenteeism
  •  Reduced Overall Costs
  •  Increased Productivity
  •  Increased Responsibility
  •  Increased Company Loyalty
  •  Reduced Sick Leave
  •  Improved Work Performance
  •  Decreased Health Insurance Costs

Employer-Sponsored Medical Nutrition Therapy

In an effort to address the rising cost of health care within employee and retiree populations, many employers are turning to an innovative health care solution: the Registered Dietitian and medical nutrition therapy and prevention. Hippocrates said it best: "Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food."

Taken another way, the food your employees consume on a daily basis can either improve their health or increase their risk of disease.  Currently in the United States, poor dietary habits and poor nutrient intake are correlated with 5 of the 10 leading causes of death.  These include heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Obesity is a significant public health problem with serious implications for the health and well being of the American public. An analysis estimated the 2007 obesity prevalence among adults, by state, from self-reported weight and height data. Among 2007 respondents of this Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), 25.6% were obese.  This number does not count people who were overweight, but not obese.  The number of Americans at increasing risk of disease due to poor dietary habits is staggering!

Since 2001, premiums for family coverage have increased 78 percent, while wages have gone up 19 percent and inflation has gone up 17 percent. The average premium for family health insurance coverage in 2007 was $12,106, and workers on average paid $3,281 out of their paychecks to cover their share of the cost of a family policy.  In 2007, employer health insurance premiums increased by 6.1 percent— two times the rate of inflation. Companies are spending more and more money for health insurance for their employees.  During a recession, these rising costs are reducing profits that are already slim for many companies.

Defining the Registered Dietitian and Medical Nutrition Therapy

Registered dietitians (RDs) are food and nutrition experts who:

  • earned a minimum of a pre-med bachelor’s degree at a US accredited university or college,
  • completed a supervised practice program at a healthcare facility or community agency lasting up to one year
  • passed a national accreditation examination and,
  • complete continuing professional education requirements on an on-going basis.

The registered dietitian is the health care provider with the most intensive experience necessary to provide nutrition services to individuals interested in medical nutrition therapy or preventive nutrition counseling.

Medical nutrition therapy (MNT) is defined as a plan or set of steps, developed through a consultative process by a Registered Dietitian, which incorporates current professional knowledge and research, and clearly defines the level, content, and frequency of nutrition care that is appropriate for a disease or condition. Therapy begins with the nutritional assessment of a client, followed by a medically prescribed nutrition therapy based on standard protocols.

Medical nutrition therapy includes identifying treatment goals and developing the nutrition prescription, providing self-management training through individualized counseling and designing specialized nutrition therapies. During MNT, the registered dietitian provides clients with a comprehensive service that includes an assessment of the nutrition status of a client with a disease, condition, illness or injury that puts the patient at nutritional risk. This nutrition assessment consists of a review and analysis of medical and dietary history, laboratory test values, anthropometric measurements, and food/prescription drug interactions.

Research Supports the Effectiveness of Medical Nutrition Therapy

Evidence that medical nutrition therapy (MNT) is effective continues to mount.  The Lewin Group, a highly respected health policies research firm, showed that MNT is associated with a substantial reduction in health care spending for inpatient and outpatient services for persons with diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and/or renal disease. The report further stated that the cost of medical nutrition therapy would be more than offset by reductions in health care spending for these same diseases. This study found that when MNT was incorporated with cardiovascular disease patients, hospitalization costs were reduced by 8.6% and physician visit costs were reduced by 16.9%. The Lewin study also demonstrated that for diabetes mellitus, hospitalization costs were reduced by 9.5% and physician visits were reduced by 23.5%. Employer sponsorship of medical nutrition therapy could produce the same cost savings for the employees at your organization.

A December 1999 article in the Journal of the American Medical Association discussed the relationship between several modifiable health risks, including diet/obesity, and short-term health care charges. The authors concluded that "health payers seeking to minimize health care charges may wish to consider strategic investments in interventions that effectively modify adverse health risks". This study found that for each increase in body mass index (BMI) there was an increase in health care costs.

Pfizer Corporation demonstrated positive results utilizing medical nutrition therapy for their employee population afflicted with cardiovascular disease (CVD). A review of claims in 1997 showed that CVD was a leading cause of morbidity in the Pfizer employee population. A pilot lipid intervention program was administered in the Pfizer New York location. Employees with abnormal lipid levels were individually contacted by telephone and offered interventions free of charge. This intervention included a dietary component consisting of five sessions of one-on-one, in-person medical nutrition therapy with a registered dietitian that lasted 45 minutes in length over a 2-month period. A similar exercise and physical activity intervention component was also incorporated into the lipid management program.

Pfizer discovered that this type of intervention would save them $728,722 annually if offered to the entire Pfizer population. And, this was for just one of many disease diagnoses that MNT has shown tremendous effectiveness, both in return on investment and outcomes effectiveness.

Additional Roles of the Registered Dietitian within Employee Health Care

In addition to medical nutrition therapy, there are other ways the registered dietitian can impact the health of your employees. Some of these include:

  • On-site group nutrition classes pertaining to specific disease states.
  • Cafeteria promotions.
  • Working with corporate chefs and food service to design healthy food choices.
  • Health fair participation at employee health and wellness fairs.
  • Lunch and learn lectures on popular nutrition topics.