Could helping employees go vegan boost their moods and their productivity at work?
That’s the finding of a four-month study of Geico employees by the D.C.-based Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine published Friday in the American Journal of Health Promotion.
Of course, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit in the District devoted to promoting a vegan diet and alternatives to animal research. But the group’s president, Dr. Neal Barnard, an adjunct professor at the George Washington University School of Medicine, says the study is worth a look because of its “striking” findings.
He was among the researchers who persuaded more than 100 Geico employees at five corporate offices to change their eating habits to study the physical impacts of a vegan diet. Participants dropped an average of 10 pounds and lowered their cholesterol by 13 points. But they also reported increases in overall productivity and saw improvements in anxiety, depression, fatigue and general health compared with workers at five other Geico locations in the study.
So how in the world did these researchers get so many people to make such a drastic change, cutting nearly ubiquitous animal-based ingredients — including milk and eggs — from their diets? They made sure these employees weren’t just living on tofu.