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Is Your Workplace Making You Fat?

 

Its Monday.. You're back in the office and it's someone birthday! Cupcakes and cookies are all over the staff room and people are off out for lunch to celebrate. 

One thing is for certain, this happens in most office environments! A government survey in the USA found that a quarter of adults eat up to 1300 extra calories per week just from doing their job. What was worse, the survey only included foods people didn't bring to work themselves and food they didn't purchase from outside sources such as local shops, cafes and restaurants.

"The majority of calories people get at work, people didn't pay for, 70% of those calories were essentially free" says study co-author Stephen Onufrak, an epidemiologist at the UD Center for Diseas, Control and Prevention. 

 

The most commonly obtained foods at work are:

- Coffee

- Sugar-sweetened soft drinks

- Sandwiches

- Tea

- Cookies

- Brownies

- French Fries

- Pizza

- Diet Soft Drinks

 

When the researchers looked at foods obtained by calories, pizza was the leading source of calories obtained at work, followed by sandwiches and regular soft drinks. 

This study included more than 5200 people from a large workplace. The volunteers answered questions about the foods they obtained at work over a seven day period. They only reported foods they acquired at work and didn't say whether or not they ate the foods. 

Nutritionist Samantha Heller noted that offering healthy options for special occasions will provide many benefits to employees, because employees who eat well will feel better, have more energy and more focus for the rest of the work day. We need to feed our bodies well, especially in jobs where employees sit down for more than 8 hours per day and are not active. 

If your workplace does not offer healthy alternatives, you are in charge of what foods are available to you. If you do not bring your own lunch, you should do some scouting to see the healthy food choices available at the workplace, it is a good idea to do this when you are not hungry. 

People often bring a whole host of treats to work, as people like to feed each other to show affection but it is ok to say no to birthday cakes and treats.