This year has been very good for seafarers. There’s been a greater awareness of mental health which has moved ship managers’ attention to nutrition onboard vessels. Research shows that nutrition plays a pivotal role in mental health which has helped improve seafarer well-being standards onboard.
It’s clearly indicated in feedback from the Seafarer Happiness Index which stipulates crew condemned owners who didn’t invest sufficiently in healthy food but still expect them to be fit. Food is becoming more of a mainstream topic within the industry.
MCTC, which specializes in catering management and also training of multi-national crew all over the world, believes good food plays just as an important role in mental health as regular breaks and good working hours.
Bad eating habits often result in higher fatigue levels, laziness of crew and a lack of productivity. It’s something which the industry is now picking up on.
Food is one of the most important and motivating factors of being on a ship. When seafarers are away for long periods of time, they look forward to a nice meal at the end of the day.
It is crucial that crew members develop good eating habits while they are onboard to ensure high levels of energy to help them complete their daily tasks.
Stress levels can lead to bad eating habits, which then lead to fatigue and ultimately bad performance. It is the responsibility of the catering department to ensure that the food offered onboard is of high nutritional value and suitable for all nationalities.
Let’s hope it’s onwards and upwards for 2020! The industry needs to carry on working to reach the root of the problem and ensure we are not only educating the catering staff onboard in relation to healthier eating habits, but also the families of the crew, so that good eating habits continue while the seafarer is at home.
Christian Ioannou is Managing Director of MCTC.
The opinions expressed herein are the author’s and not necessarily those of The Maritime Executive.