Food as a Better Means of Productivity Within a Workplace Research Proposal

Pages: 7 (2106 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 22  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Business

Nutrition as a Means of Increasing Productivity

Annotated Bibliography

Little academic research exists regarding the link between productivity and the quality of nutrition that one receives. The connection represents a logical one, as malnutrition has been linked to many conditions, such as illness that decrease productivity. However, as far as studies that directly investigate this link, there is only a handful. This is a key reason for undergoing the current research project. The connection between food, nutrition, and productivity could provide valuable information for employers and employees. Employers can use this information to provide better food choices that will help to increase worker productivity. The following sources will be used as the basis for the project.

The Cost Effectiveness of Food Fortification

This topic relates to the study, as fortification is one means to bring nutrition to the workplace.

Action for Healthy Kids. "The Role of Sound Nutrition and Physical Activity in Academic Achievement." Available at Accessed 23 October 2008.

This organization compiled academic research regarding school performance and nutrition. It referenced other studies, largely conducted during the 1900s that support the importance of good nutrition and school performance.

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Baltussen R., Knai, C., and Sharan M. "Iron fortification and iron supplementation are cost- effective interventions to reduce iron deficiency in four subregions of the world." [PubMed] Journal of Nutrition. (2004) 134: 2678-84.

This study addressed the cost-effectiveness of iron supplements in four regions of the world. This study was predictive in nature, making broad statements about the importance of the results. However, the study groups upon which the results were based only involved a small sample size.

Research Proposal on Food as a Better Means of Productivity Within a Workplace Assignment

Brooker, S., Kabatereine, N., Fleming., F, and Devlin, N. "Cost and cost-effectiveness of nationwide school-based helminth control in Uganda: intra-country variation and effects of scaling-up" Health Policy Plan.(January 2008) 23 (1): 24-35.

This study investigated the cost-effectiveness of nationwide, school-based helminth control in Uganda. This study estimates that the cost of the program far outweighs the cost of treating a helminth case on a per child basis. Variability was found among populations, which highlights the problems associated with applying the results of one study to a different population.

Haas, J., Beard, J., Murray-Kolb, L., del Mundo, a., Felix, a., and Gregorio, G. "Iron- biofortified rice increases body iron in Filipino women." [PubMed] Journal of Nutrition. (2005):135:2823-30.

This study involved two groups, one that received rice fortified with iron, the other received normal. Changes in blood iron levels were measured against a baseline, established at the beginning of the study. It was found that those with the poorest nutrition in the beginning benefited the most. There was no information provided as to the productivity or symptoms in these participants, only their blood iron levels were considered.

Horton, Sue. "The Economics of Food Fortification." American Association for Nutrition. Journal of Nutrition. 136 (April 2006):1068-1071.

This study summarized literature on the cost-effectiveness and cost benefit of food fortification with selected micronutrients. It was limited to developing countries and concentrated only on fortification with iron, vitamin a and zinc. The study revealed that fortification is only effective if there is a sufficient infrastructure for getting the fortified food to people who need it. One of the key criticisms of the study is that it relied on only 15 pieces of literature. There are many variables that could not be accounted for in many of the studies, which harmed the overall ability of this researcher to draw conclusions.

Nestel., P., Bouis, H., Meenakshi, J. And Pfeiffer, W. "Biofortification of Staple Food Crops." [PubMed] Journal of Nutrition. (April, 2006) 136(4): 1064-1067.

This study examined the feasibility of fortifying staple food crops so that they will help to control micronutrient deficiencies. The conclusion was that it was feasible and cost efficient, but it also brought up the point that the market must be willing to accept these new food crops, or the research would be futile.

Pfeiffer, W. And McClafferty, B. "HarvestPlus: Breeding Crops for Better Nutrition."

Crop Science, (December 2007). 47 (Supplement_3): S-88 - S-105.

Micronutrient deficiency is called a "hidden hunger" and plays a key role in the lives of more than one-half of the global population. This article discusses the possibility of breeding plants that are higher in micronutrients than other plant sources. This research makes sweeping generalizations that are largely unsupported. However, it is an interesting angle to consider in the provision of better nutrition in the workplace.

Nutrition and Productivity

AFP. "Poor nutrition cuts worker productivity: ILO." ABC News Online. (September 18, 2005). Available at Accessed 23 October 2008.

This article cites a study by the International Labor Office (ILO). The study found that workers in poor countries couldn't do their jobs properly because of malnourishment. They also found that those in industrialized countries were too obese to perform their job properly. This study demonstrates that one has to look at various types of malnutrition, as obesity still affects the ability to work.

Banerjee, a. "Nutrition and productivity. Department of Economics." MIT. (Spring, 2004). Available at Accessed 23 October 2008.

This study used an econometric model to predict the existence of poverty in connection with poor nutrition. The model was never tested in an actual study, but it does suggest that studies support that lower anemia due to increased nutrition resulted in higher work among Indonesian rubber tree tappers.

Bureau of Labor Relations. "Poor Workplace Nutrition Said to Harm Productivity." BLR News. (October 20, 2005). Available at 23 October 2008.

Poor nutrition is related to lower workplace productivity through the costs of illness associated with it. Insurance, paid sick leave, and other payments due to nutrition-related conditions are expensive.

Delpeuch, F., Cornu, a., Massamba, J-O., Traissac, P. And Maire, B. "Is body mass index sensitivity related to socio-economic status and to economic adjustment? A case study from the Congo " in the Functional Significance of Low Body Mass Index. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Available at Accessed 23 October 2008.

This study used cross-sectional surveys over a five-year period. This study found that the most significant correlation was among the poor. Those wealthiest in the sample population demonstrated no significant prevalence of low body mass index. There are many other factors that could have affected the conclusions, such as greater educational opportunity, but this study did not address the many variables that could have an impact on the results. It does demonstrate that the most significant impact is on the poor, which is similar to the results found in Haas, Beard, and Murray-Kolb et al., (2005).

Alderman, H., Hoddinott, J. And Kinsey, B. "

Long-term consequences of early childhood malnutrition,"

Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press (July 2008). 58(3): 450-474, July.

Significant differences were found among Zimbabwe children in terms of height, age of entrance into school and advancement through the grade levels. Children with sound nutrition entered school at an earlier age and performed better than those with poor nutrition perform. This study was among the most reliable found, as it was able to isolate the dependent variable.

Hoddinott, J.,

Maluccio, J.," Behrman, J.,

Flores, R., and Martorell, R. "Effect of a nutrition intervention during early childhood on economic productivity in Guatemalan adults." (February 2008). Lancet. 2 (371) (9610):411-6.

This study of Guatemalan adults found that malnutrition in early childhood had an adverse affect on school performance and on productivity in the adult years. This study demonstrates that long-term affects of malnutrition.

Holland, C. "Hack Your Lunchroom to Improve productivity." (15 October 2008). Team Taskmaster. Blog. Available at 23 October 2008.

This study also cites the ILO study that links malnutrition to poor work productivity. It also provides some suggestions for improving nutrition at work and boosting company morale.

James, W.P.T. "Body mass index and economic productivity" in the Functional Significance of Low Body Mass Index. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Available at 23 October 2008.

This research used data to attempt to link nutritional status to productivity. It was found that men improved productivity, but women did not. This study used data and previous literature to draw its conclusions. The study found that nutritional status, as measured by height, was a more reliable predictor of productivity than body mass index. The connections in this study were vague and could be influenced by many factors that were not addressed in the study.

James, W.P.T. "The Challenge of adult chronic energy deficiency." In the Functional Significance of Low Body Mass Index. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Available at 23 October 2008.

Chronic energy deficiency is related to low work productivity. It makes people feel lethargic. This study attempted to establish a connection between chronic energy deficiency and Body Mass Index (BMI). This study found that cultural, age and gender differences have a significant impact on the ability to use BMI to measure energy deficiency due to low food consumption.

Knorr. "Productivity and the Workplace: Eat Well and Be Productive." White Paper. (2007). Available at April-07.pdf Accessed 23 October 2008.

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