Facts and Figures in health promotion at the workplace – Special focus on nutrition
According to the International Labour Office (ILO), an estimated 2.3 million people die every year from work-related accidents and diseases. Moreover, it is estimated that around 4% of the world’s gross domestic product is lost due to various direct and indirect costs, including compensation, medical expenses, property damage, lost earnings and replacement training .
Workplace Health Promotion is therefore key to strengthen workers health and safety and to prevent huge costs for employees, employers and the whole society. As the World Health Organization highlights “Worplaces are important settings for health promotion and disease prevention. People need to be given the opportunity to make healthy choices in the workplace in order to reduce their exposure to risk” .
In that perspective, nutrition is one of the parameters having an important role to play to promote health and well-being at work. As specified in the European Commission’s white paper with regards to nutrition, companies can contribute to the promotion of healthy way of life at work taking simple and cost-effective measures toward improving the well-being of their employees thus tackling obesity .
This 11th Policies & Practices session will particularly focus on this particular aspect of nutrition at the workplace:
- Why and how promoting nutrition at the workplace?
- How to measure the impact of nutrition in work-related diseases which have multiple causes?
- How can workers wellbeing be influenced by nutrition?
Speakers addressing these issues include:
Madi Sharma, Member of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC)
Madi is an Entrepreneur who founded and runs the Madi Group, a group of International private sector & not for profit companies, and NGOs. The philosophy is to create innovative ideas tailored to local action which can achieve global impacts beneficial to a sustainable society. She is also a member of The European Economic and Social Committee in Brussels.
Madi is a public speaker internationally, particularly in the field of entrepreneurship, female entrepreneurship, diversity; gender balance and her passion for corporate social responsibility CSR. Her presentations, spoken from the heart, motivate and inspire and seek to make others consider their ability to affect change. It is now tagged #MadiEffect
David Gold, Managing Director, Gold-Knecht Associates
David Gold, MOEd, PhD, is the Founder and Managing Director of Gold-Knecht Associates and an international consultant providing expertise in occupational safety and health policy; workplace health promotion; workplace fire prevention and protection; occupational safety and health training capacity building; managing psychosocial issues at work; and behaviour based safety and health. He serves as a Senior Consultant to DuPont, the International SOS Foundation and the Foundation NetCare.CH and the Fair Labor Association.
Prior to 2008, Dr Gold worked for the International Labour Office, a United Nations Specialized Agency, for 23 years. He had world-wide responsibility for implementing occupational safety and health programs for the more than 175 member States. He designed and facilitated educational programs including Managing Psychosocial Problems at Work (known as SOLVE).
During his career, Dr Gold was posted in Geneva, Switzerland, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Bangkok, Thailand. He worked in many countries in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, the Arab States and the Americas. He has moderated focus groups from different national, cultural, ethnic and linguistic backgrounds for the ILO.
In the early 1980’s Dr Gold was responsible for the development and implementation of a training program to train Emergency Paramedics in the US State of Maine. He also served as a volunteer firefighter-paramedic at that time.
He has lectured at universities such as the University of Southern Maine (USA), College of the Atlantic (USA), the Université de Geneve (Switzerland), the Université d’Haute Savoie (France), in Africa at the Université Cheikh Anta Diop (Senegal), the Université de Benin, the University of Namibia, and in Latin America at the Anton de Kom University (Surinam). Dr Gold works in English and French with a working knowledge of German, Malay and Thai languages.
He is a Chartered member of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (UK) a member of the International Commission on Occupational Health and the Swiss Public Health Association.
 ILO Safety in numbers : Pointers for a global safety culture at work, International Labour Office, 2003
 World Health Organization (2004), Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health
 European Commission (2007), White Paper on nutrition, overweight and obesity-related health issues