For many years, workplaces in Australia have been promoting healthy diets as a way of improving the general health of the workforce and hopefully reduce illness. This strategy was easier to develop when there was large manufacturers who had in-house canteens but it was always a struggle.
In 2008, the Victorian Government launched WorkHealth, a program that it claimed was a world-first, and will focus on improving general health by targeting the workplace. It is understood that the pilot program of worker health assessments begins on Monday, 1 September 2008.
The Herald-Sun newspaper on 26 August 2008 illustrates a major cultural barrier that the workplace health initiative faces. In an article entitled “Aussie blokes bite back with humble pie”, the marketing manager of Patties (Australia’s biggest pie manufacturer), Mark Connolly said
“Blokes are sick of being told what they can and can’t eat. They’ve had a gutful of it and are going back to living by their own rules. If they feel like having a pie and a few beers, they’ll have a pie and a few beers.”
In 2008, Patties has seen a 10% increase in pie sales and an 8.6% increase in profit. Patties has made available a nutritional comparison of their products. Perhaps, WorkHealth can seek additional sponsorship support from a pie maker.