Are Growing Waistlines a Sign of Diminishing Employee Attitudes?

by Michael Haberman on December 15, 2009 · 0 comments

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.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa Rosendahl December 15, 2009 at 12:28 pm

Happy Anniversary!


Centennial College December 16, 2009 at 4:22 am


I think in this fast daily routine exercise is very important. Today's life is very stressful so if you can do exercise or Yoga everyday one hour you can control on your stress. Also control on your food. It's also necessary.

Human Resources College


Barbara December 22, 2009 at 4:46 pm

Weight is definitely a problem in our society. Nutrition is a very big factor. You can find some valuable nutritional information on my blog at

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


backstagepass09 January 3, 2010 at 9:43 am

Employers are not necessarily to blame because you create your own health fate. Health is a choice. My senior colleague is a highly competent designer, and manages to go to the gym regularly. By the way, almost all of us in our office gained weight not because we were stressed, but because we were all so happy with each other's company (teehee). Happy new year and thanks for the blog, a very healthful reminder on my own waistline!


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