A SIX-MONTH chorizo ban at Spain’s biggest carmaker has dramatically cut employees’ cardiovascular health risks.
Some 600 workers were used as guinea pigs in a study that forced staff to ditch mortadella and sausage sandwiches for healthier alternatives.
In a clampdown on company canteens, staff swapped the highly processed meats for whole grain sandwiches with hummus, sardines or avocado.
However, the initial buttie ban was then extended to incorporate physical exercise and emotional support.
Hospital Clinic de Barcelona and the IrsiCaixa AIDS Research Institute conducted the research, which began in April 2018.
A total of 300 staff at Seat’s Zona Franca de Barcelona factory and a further 300 at its El Prat site were medically examined before and after the study.
El Prat staff were offered health advice, while researchers implemented several strategies with the Barcelona group.
Each participant was given five litres of virgin olive oil a month and 30 grams of nuts a day, in a bid to follow the Mediterranean diet.
Workers were also supplied with vouchers for healthy supermarket produce and had seasonal menus drafted for them.
The outcome was a huge decrease in triglycerides, the main component of body fat, while Seat employees’ ‘weight and waists’ also shrunk.
“This study has achieved an impact at the metabolic level through the Mediterranean diet, but now we want to see if, in the microbiome, there is an impact of the Mediterranean diet,” said IrsiCaixa director, Bonaventura Clotet.