Is there anything better than a company-wide email saying “free treats in the kitchen, enjoy”? No, there definitely isn’t, especially when you’re battling 3:30-itis.
But unfortunately, while your afternoon cravings might be attended to, your rig won’t be so happy.
According to research conducted by the Centres for Disease Control Prevention, most food provided at work is packed with sodium and refined grains while there is a lack of healthy options.
“To our knowledge, this is the first national study to look at the food people get at work,” says lead study author and epidemiologist Stephen Onufrak.
“Our results suggest that the foods people get from work do not align well with the recommendations in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.”
Looking into data collected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Acquisition and Purchasing Survey, scientists analysed the food and drinks offered to 5222 employees in common work spaces and work-related events. They also looked at vending machine habits.
Results found that one quarter of the study were given food at work at least once week. Alarmingly, that amounted to 1300 empty calories, mostly consisting of solid fats or sugars. Of the junk food consumed at work, 70 per cent was free.
“Worksite wellness programs have the potential to reach millions of working Americans and have been shown to be effective at changing health behaviors among employees, reducing employee absenteeism and reducing health care costs,” continues Onufrak.
“Since we found that a lot of the foods obtained by employees were free, employers may also want to consider healthy meeting policies to encourage healthy food options at meetings and social events.”
If you are after some healthy alternatives, check out these five tasty snacks for work that won’t ruin your waistline.