Heart Disease is the Second Costliest Ailment for U.S. Employers

Is food access the future of employee benefits?

Many people know that nutrition plays a role in overall health, but not everyone understands how significantly food affects health. The National Institute of Health found that if a healthy, well-rounded diet is managed properly, 90% of type 2 diabetes, 80% of coronary artery disease, and 70% of strokes can be prevented.

While 75% of healthcare spending is allocated toward diagnosing and treating chronic diseases, including those listed above, experts believe that money may be better spent on educating individuals on nutrition and providing financial support for healthier food options. By improving individual’s diets, experts hope to prevent a significant number of chronic diseases from ever developing.

Due to inflation, national grocery prices have significantly increased, making it more difficult to prioritize buying nutritional items and meals. For example, the average monthly cost of groceries for an individual living in PA is around $400. If a benefit is offered to employees that centers around providing a food stipend and creating and meeting health goals, healthcare costs may decrease for participating employees.

Bitewell, a platform that helps employees pay for foods that meet individualized health goals, was created in January. Already, the program has a 91% employee adoption rate, and 85% of users are on the platform on a weekly basis, proving that employees are interested in prioritizing their health when given additional resources.


In the next couple of years, there may be a cultural shift of viewing nutrition as a part of holistic healthcare and even preventative care, which could be reflected in new employee benefits options.