Food at work adds up to a lot of extra calories: Study
15 June, 2018, 21:42
"To our knowledge, this is the first national study to look at the food people get at work", said Stephen Onufrak, epidemiologist in the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Study shows many exceed adult recommendations. A significant amount, which may well be responsible for those extra pounds, especially since those are mostly empty calories - nearly devoid of nutrients, full of solid fats and added sugars.
A new study has found that the foods commonly available in workplaces across the United States contain high amounts of sodium and low amounts of grains and fruit.
TUESDAY, June 12, 2018 (HealthDay News) - Many working Americans obtain food and beverages from work, and these foods often do not align with dietary guidelines, according to a study presented during Nutrition 2018, the annual meeting of the American Society for Nutrition, held from June 9 to 12 in Boston. Only 8 percent of survey participants bought food at work, while 17 percent ate for free.
The researchers analysed the food or beverages employees purchased at work from vending machines or cafeterias or that were obtained for free in common areas, at meetings or at worksite social events.
According to this new survey, about one-quarter of American worker bees eat almost 1,300 calories at work per week and many of those calories are rich in fat and sugar. The CDC found that workers are eating too many calories at work.
For many of us, it's really hard to pass up the sweet pastries at meetings, the tasty doughnuts in the break time, and a delicious birthday cake for a co-worker.
The usual suspects were pizza, soft drinks, cookies/brownies, cakes and pies, and candy.
The study suggested ways for workplaces to promote access to healthier foods, noting that changing employees' health behaviors has the potential to reduce both sick days and health care costs for companies -- added motivations to the public health concerns. Vending machines could swap their cheese-flavored corn chips, at 250 calories with little nutritional value, for sunflower seeds that include healthy fats and fiber, at 160 calories.
They could also ensure that foods in cafeterias or vending machines follow food service guidelines.
"Employers can encourage healthier foods at meetings and events, especially when the employer is providing free food to employees", Onufrak told ABC.
Since a lot of the food items obtained by employees were free, employers may also want to consider promoting policies to encourage healthy food options.
"We have salad, French fries and pizza. among that list, there weren't a lot of nutrient-dense foods", Onufrak said.
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