Maybe it is counterintuitive but the data has validity. I survey our break room every time I go to lunch and the majority of younger workers <30 are eating pizza, fast food, or worse, vending machine fare. Compare this to the older workers, who I see bringing healthier lunches from home, healthy frozen dinners, smaller portions - many of those same employees walk after lunch too. Call it profiling or any other tag you want to put on it... older workers do tend to eat healthier and have healthier lifestyles. I remember being 20-something... I thought I'll never have heart problems, cholesterol, high blood pressure, etc. "That's for old folks", I thought. Now that I am 40-something, I realize that setting the pattern for a healthier lifestyle starts much sooner than 40, so we focus much of our attention in H&W on healthy lifestyles and predictive intervention based on behaviors. It's never too late to start choosing healthier options, and we preach healthy lifestyles to every worker, but we also realize we especially need to target younger workers. It's easier to change behaviors if you catch 'em young enough. Going into our 3rd year of this approach, it is paying off in terms of better health, lower medical claims and higher productivity. As the HR professional who administers our H&W programs, that's the results we want.
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