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Health Nuts and Bolts Don't be afraid to spoon-feed your employees tips about proper diet.

By Jacquelyn Lynn

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

If people are old enough to have jobs, they're old enough to decide for themselves what to eat, right? Yes, but there are still two reasons you might want to influence your employees' food choices. First is the relationship between eating habits and health-care costs; second is the impact of a healthy diet on employee productivity, says James O. Hill, director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of Colorado, Denver.

John C. Barrett believes his conscious efforts to encourage good eating habits among staff members contribute to all-around better employees. "The company benefits because you have a more solid, productive work force," says Barrett, 48, co-founder and senior vice president of Med Advantage, a professional credentials verification service in Orlando, Florida. "And the employees are happier, too." In the six years since he began actively promoting healthy eating habits to his employees, Barrett has seen punctuality improve, absenteeism drop and productivity and morale increase.

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