The New York City Department of Health is practicing what they preach. The DOH has announced new rules of conduct and diet for the workplace, in order to effectively restrict and reduce high fat and sugary food consumption. The guidelines came in the form of a department wide distributed brochure, and not only include rules for diet, but office work ethics as well. These new measures come in light of the city’s recent campaigning to encourage people to switch to a healthier diet. Under the new rules, employees are not allowed to eat fried food in the office, muffins and bagels must be mini-sized, and cookies and cake can’t appear at the same time.
Specifically, the new guidelines state that tap water must be provided whenever food and drink are served, while all other beverages are required to have less than 25 calories per every 8 ounces. Deep fried foods are also prohibited and cookies cannot be offered when cake is served at office parties, meetings, or any sponsored events. Muffins and bagels must be cut into halves or quarters, or mini sizes should be ordered. Bread must also be whole grain. The rules are mandatory for all DOH meetings and sponsored events.
The rules are in line with the DOH’s overall mission for a healthier city. On December 5, 2006, the Board of Health approved an amendment that would effectively eliminate artificial trans fat from all restaurants, and caloric measurements must be included on restaurant menus. The department also recently banned smoking in public places. Last December, the Health Commissioner Thomas Farley also put an end to alcohol at department parties.
Some employees are shocked and upset by the new rules, but to us, it makes perfect sense that the DOH should set the example that they want city residents to follow. Here’s hoping that other cities follow suit!