Yesterday I heard a radio commentary by Clark Howard. He was talking about his post Recession enabling Americans to make unhealthy food choices. He was discussing a piece of research that said that Americans are saying that the recession is making it more difficult for people to buy healthy food. The premise was that healthy food is more expensive than unhealthy food. Thus there is an increase in the size of waistlines of Americans.
Clark, however, rejects this premise, noting that there are many cheap, yet healthy, choices in the grocery store. He feels that the trend toward unhealthy foods is not one of cost but one of comfort. The recession is causing people to be stressed. And time after time research has found that when we are stressed we seek “comfort” food. These are things that taste good and that are generally not nutrionally good for you. I think of my own example. Several years ago, as my mother was declining in health and eventually dying I was at her bedside. Each night as I left the hospital to get something to eat I returned to a restaurant that I had found that served “home cooked” meals. I ate chicken fried steak and mashed potatoes and gravy each night. I was seeking comfort food during that very stressful time. Today I have a tendency to grab a bag of peanut M&Ms; (a big bag) when I get stressed. I think many of you are the same way.
So I agree with Clark. I think this tendency to growing waistlines is a signal of stress. So look at your employees. If they are getting heavier you may have some morale problems. People may be ill at ease with what is happening at work. It may be a signal that you have to do some damage control with employee attitudes.
A side note: This is my only post this week. I am heading on a short vacation to celebrate my wedding anniversary. Even though this our 38th, I still do not want to take any time or attention away from my beautiful wife, so I will not be posting until mid-week next week.
Sign up for free HR Solutions updates via email