Good News For New Yorkers: Major Food Brands Are Jumping On The Healthy Bandwagon

New York consumers, like people everywhere, are calling for healthy woman drinking waterhealthier food, and major brands can no longer ignore the call. In the past few months, several major brands – General Mills, Campbell Soup, Kellogg and Nestle – announced they are removing unhealthy additives.
This is good news for New York employers who have known for years that employees want to follow healthy lifestyles. As major food brands remove unhealthy additives, New York employers will have even more choices to help employees follow a healthy diet.
This month, General Mills Cereals committed to removing artificial flavors and colors from artificial sources from all of its cereals in response to consumers’ changing preferences. More than 60 percent of General Mills cereals are already without artificial flavors and colors from artificial sources.
According to a survey conducted by Nielsen on behalf of General Mills, 49 percent of households are making an effort to avoid artificial flavors and colors from artificial sources.
cereal“At General Mills Cereals, we have been upgrading the nutrition and ingredients in our cereals for years to meet people’s needs and desires,” said Jim Murphy, president of the General Mills cereal division. “We’ve continued to listen to consumers who want to see more recognizable and familiar ingredients on the labels and challenged ourselves to remove barriers that prevent adults and children from enjoying our cereals.”
General Mills Cereals plans to have more than 90 percent of its portfolio free of artificial flavors and colors from artificial sources by the end of 2016. Trix will now use ingredients like fruit and vegetable juices and spice extracts such as turmeric and annatto to achieve the fun red, yellow, orange and purple colors.
In August, Kellogg announced Corn Flakes and Rice Krispies will soon be all-natural. Kellogg said it is aiming to stop using artificial colors and flavors in its cereal and snack bars by the end of 2018. The company said 75 percent of its cereals in North America were being made without artificial colors and more than half without artificial flavors.
In July, Campbell Soup said it would stop adding monosodium glutamate to its condensed soups for children and increase its organic offerings as part of a broader strategy to cater to changing consumer tastes.
Campbell also said it would remove artificial colors and flavors from nearly all of its North American products by July 2018, and that it would move away from using high fructose corn syrup in certain products, such as its line of Pepperidge Farm fresh breads, by the end of fiscal 2017. Most new products it is launching in 2016 also will not contain corn syrup.
Additionally, Campbell will launch new organic products, such as purees under its Plum line for kids and Pepperidge Farm Goldfish crackers made with organic wheat.
In June, Nestlé pledged to improve the ingredient quality and iStock_000010520105XSmallnutritional profile of some of its most popular frozen pizza and snack brands without affecting taste. Nestlé announced the improvements, which encompass more than 250 products across six brands in the U.S.
By the end of 2015, Nestlé will have removed artificial flavors from every product within these brands. It will have reduced sodium by 10 percent across the entire portfolio of six pizza and snack brands compared to 2013 levels. It will incorporate guidance tools on packaging across these brands to help educate consumers on choosing appropriate portion sizes and the importance of eating vegetables and fruits as part of a balanced plate.
Healthy Vending applauds these companies for listening to consumers and making it easier for New Yorkers to follow healthy lifestyles.
For more information about healthy snack and beverage options available to the vending industry, contact your New York City vending partner, Healthy Vending, at 917-572-3671 to discuss your customized break room solution.

Top 10 Employer Wellness Programs: How They Can Help You in New York City

Every smart New York employer wants healthy employees. To help Smiling business team in a meeting shaking handsNew York businesses keep employees healthy, corporate wellness programs have grown into a multi-billion dollar business. Healthy Vending works with some of these wellness programs. Such programs offer nutrition education, preventive care, health screenings, gym membership incentives and more.
As a New York health partner, Healthy Vending wants to share some highlights about 10 top corporate wellness programs in the country.
Snacknation, an online snack service provider, recently listed what it considers the nation’s top corporate wellness programs. By reviewing how these companies help employees follow healthy lifestyles, employers can gain a better sense of what a structured wellness plan will provide. New York employers who want to have a healthy work environment will certainly want to know about the approaches these companies take. Here are summaries of the top 10 wellness programs. More information is available on their websites.
In gym1) Marino Wellness (marinowellness.com)
Marino Wellness has three levels of corporate wellness programs for different sizes of companies. These three different plans will cover just about any size budget. Options include annual health risk assessments, monthly massage days, personal coaching, workshops and education initiatives.
2) EXOS|MediFit (mediafit.com)
EXOS|MediFit designs custom fitness centers that are eco-friendly. In addition to nutrition education and physical therapy, it offers a tactical program to help injured military personnel get back to duty, and a sports program to help athletes improve performance.
3) Wellness Corporate Solutions (wellnesscorporatesolutions.com)
Wellness Corporate Solutions provides health fairs and health risk assessments for employees. It also offers eight week-long wellness campaigns to challenge employees to strive harder in a work environment. Employers can download a form and get a closer at employee incentive ideas that can turn good health intentions into results.
4) Kinema Fitness (kinemafitness.com)
Kinema Fitness’ integrated platform – online secured software portal – allows employees to create and access their own account to view and sign-up for classes, communicate with other employees, and log fitness and nutrition tips. This online platform supports the wellness programs being implemented on-site at the client location.
5) Premise Health (premisehealth.com)
Premise Health is an on-site health care provider. It does more than just cover basic health needs; it also offers chiropractic and acupuncture services. The company focuses on improving patient, provider and client experiences. It invests in technologies that sustainably engage patients, improve the efficiency and satisfaction of providers, and allows employers to track outcomes.
6) TotalWellness Health (totalwellnesshealth.com)
TotalWellness’s goals are threefold: 1) Lower healthcare costs, 2) Prevent diseases, 3) Create corporate wellness solutions to foster a safer and more productive work environment. Services include program design and consultation, health risk assessment and reporting, corporate health fairs, health screenings, nurse counseling, on-site flu shot clinics, health education, and a wellness portal.
7) WorkStride (workstride.com)Girl holding water bottle
While it is not typically considered a corporate wellness company, WorkStride helps employers recognize and reward behaviors to improve employee wellness. The software platform powers recognition, incentives, and reward programs. The solution makes it easy to highlight good deeds, compensate great work, and share authentic stories that reinforce a good direction.
8) Fitbit (fitbit.com)
Many people know Fitbit as a tiny wristwatch-like device that helps people reach personal fitness goals. Fitbit also provides corporate wellness programs, helping people lead healthier, more active lives by empowering them with data, inspiration and guidance to reach their goals. The platform combines connected health and fitness devices with software and services to help people become healthier.
9) Provant Health (provanthealth.com)
Provant Health partners with businesses to improve employees’ health while supporting employers with their healthcare affordability agenda. Provant’s Life+ Program combines personalized “high touch” services with social networking tools that link rewards to healthy behaviors and outcomes.
10) Marathon Health (marathon-health.com)
Marathon Health offers onsite healthcare, primary care services, preventative care, chronic condition coaching, occupational health care, ancillary services and more. Outreach efforts include healthy food drives to benefit local food shelters, educating middle and elementary school students about health and wellness, supporting Special Olympics, and providing free blood-pressure checks for seniors.
Healthy Vending encourages New York employers to engage in corporate wellness programs. Healthy Vending partners with New York employers by only carrying those products that are part of what most consumers consider to be a healthy diet.
For more information about healthy snack and beverage options available to the vending industry, contact your New York City vending partner, Healthy Vending, at 917-572-3671 to discuss your customized break room solution.

Gallup Poll Finds More Consumers Have Healthier Eating Habits; Healthy Vending Helps New Yorkers Meet Their Goals

Consumers in New York and elsewhere are following healthier diets, beautiful brunette holding apples applesaccording to a recent Gallup Poll. The poll found consumers are more likely to avoid soda than 14 other foods, including sugar and fat. At least six in 10 U.S. adults say they are trying to steer clear of soda altogether.
This is good news for everyone in New York. When people follow healthier diets, they live longer and they are more productive. As a result, everyone wins. Employers pay less for health insurance. Government spends less of our tax dollars on health care. Taxpayers face fewer tax increases to pay for health care costs.
It is a drastic change from 15 years ago. Consumers are far more likely today (61%) than in 2002 (41%) to say they are avoiding soda.
Likewise, the percentage of who actively include soda in their diet has dropped since 2002, from 36% to 22%.
It is not only regular soda consumers are avoiding. They are also avoiding diet soda out of concern for artificial sweeteners. In this year’s poll, Gallup asked half of the respondents about diet soda and the other half about regular soda. The results were nearly identical, with 61% saying they avoid regular soda and 62% saying the same for diet soda.
lg_Annies Bunny Friends - angle shotDoctors advise that lower-calorie and natural beverages, such as skim milk or water, are healthier choices than soda.
The poll also found consumers have become more likely to avoid sugar. In 2002, 43% were avoiding sugar compared to 50% in 2015.
In addition, consumers have recognized the benefits of eating more fruits and vegetables. The Gallup Poll reports that at least nine in 10 consumers try to include both fruits and vegetables in their diet. At least three in four try to include chicken and fish in their diet. Nutrition experts often recommend chicken and fish to help with heart health, in lieu of beef and other red meat.
Healthy Vending applauds the progress New Yorkers are making in following healthier lifestyles.
But there is still work to do. The vast majority of consumers in New York and elsewhere say they are trying to follow healthier eating habits. But they are not always able to meet their goals, hard as they may try. One reason is that the healthy choices are not always readily available. This is especially true in today’s New York, where workers are often eating on the run.
We launched Healthy Vending in 2000 to help New Yorkers who wanted to maintain healthy diets and consume less calories. One of the most unique aspects about our company is that we provide these healthy products conveniently for consumers. Healthy Vending only carries those products that are part of what most consumers consider to be a healthy diet.
For more information about healthy snack and beverage options available to the vending industry, contact your New York City vending partner, Healthy Vending, at 917-572-3671 to discuss your customized break room solution.

At Long Last: Obesity Rates Start To Fall, But More Needs To Be Done In New York City

Better eating habits are starting to make a difference in New York cliff-barCity and the rest of America. For the first time in decades, obesity rates have leveled off for adults and school aged children, according to a recent New York Times data analysis. For younger children, obesity has actually declined. The amount of full calorie soda consumed has fallen by 25 percent since the late 1990s.
What accounts for this good news? Health experts say people have started to realize they were consuming too many calories.
The government organized public health campaigns in response to reports showing obesity was taking its toll on the American population. “I think people are hearing the message, and diet is slowly improving,” said Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, the dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University.
This is a major piece of good news for New York consumers. Healthy Vending applauds the work that the scientific community, public service agencies and nutritionists have done to reverse the obesity epidemic. The improvement is the result of decades of hard work.
In 1999, researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a paper in The Journal of the American Medical Association that turned into something of a blockbuster. The paper illustrated worsening obesity rates in the 1980s and 1990s in all 50 states.
Shortly afterward, then surgeon general Dr. David Satcher issued a report — “Call to Action to Prevent and Decrease Overweight and Obesity.” This 2001 report summarized the evidence that obesity was a risk factor for several chronic diseases. He said controlling children’s weight should be a priority to prevent the onset of obesity-related illnesses.
iStock_000008958217XSmallWe launched Healthy Vending in 2000 to support New York consumers who wanted to maintain healthy diets and consume less calories. Healthy Vending became one of the companies committed to the battle against obesity.
Gradually, our message began to take hold.
By 2003, 60 percent of Americans said they wanted to lose weight, according to the Gallup Organization, up from 52 percent in 1990 and 35 percent in the 1950s.
The Affordable Care Act, passed in 2010, required chain restaurants to publish the calorie content of their meals. The government also required healthier school lunches.
Beverage companies began marketing diet drinks and invested in new products with less calories, including iced teas and flavored water.
There is still work to do. Kevin Hall, a researcher at the National Institutes of Health, estimated that for Americans to return to the body weights of 1978 by 2020, an average adult will have to reduce calorie consumption by 220 calories a day. The recent reductions represent just a fraction of that change.
Health Vending stands ready to help in the effort to improve the environment for those New Yorkers who want to follow healthy lifestyles. One of the most unique aspects about our company is that we provide these healthy products conveniently for consumers.
For more information about healthy snack and beverage options available to the vending industry, contact your New York City vending partner, Healthy Vending, at 917-572-3671 to discuss your customized break room solution.