Why workplace food may not be healthy for you

Why workplace food may not be healthy for you

"With employees spending eight hours a day on average at their place of employment, a lot of people may not be aware of all of the calories they get from work, especially from foods they get for free".

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. 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.

Onufrak presented the results of the study at an annual meeting of the American Society for Nutrition in Boston.

According to a new study conducted by researchers in the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the food people are eating at work amounts to almost 1,300 calories a week-70% of which is coming from free food.

Just think about the last time you heard a co-worker shout "free celery sticks in the break room!"

The results of the study of 5,222 employees across the USA suggest that workplaces can play an important role to help ensure access to and promote healthier food options.

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Stephen Onufrak, Ph.D., from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Berkeley Lake, Ga., and colleagues used data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Acquisition and Purchasing Survey to examine food purchases and free acquisitions made at worksites among 5,222 employed adults.

The team specifically assessed the foods and beverages bought at work from vending machines or cafeterias or items that were snagged for free from common areas, meetings or worksite social events.

"Unfortunately, the diets of Americans, in general, is not really consistent with the recommendations from the US Dietary Guidelines for Americans".

The researchers found that some of the most common food and beverages at the workplaces across the United States are regular soft drinks and coffee which contains sugar in a large amount. Study shows many exceed adult recommendations. 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.

"We hope that the results of our research will help increase healthy food options at worksites in the USA", he added. They also believe foods in cafeterias or vending machines should follow proper food service guidelines.

According to the researchers, employers could help their employees eat better at work by using worksite wellness programs to promote healthy options that are also appealing.

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