Eating at Work is (Probably) Making You Fat, Says New Research

A good way to get through a meeting? Or a threat to your diet

Jessica Rinaldi Globe Staff A good way to get through a meeting? Or a threat to your diet

According to the latest research presented at the American Society for Nutrition annual meeting on Monday, workplaces in America offer their employees with food with high in refined grains and salt and low in fruits and whole grains.

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. However, the vending machines may not be entirely to blame as free foods were estimated to account for 71 percent of all calories acquired at work.

The preliminary findings, which have not yet undergone the peer-review process, will be presented by Onufrak at Nutrition 2018, the annual meeting of the American Society for Nutrition.

Snacks that are eaten by employees at work are often high in sugar and fat, but they also can amount to an extra 1,300 calories every week, which is more than half the recommended daily calorie intake for the average adult, according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But it's OK to say no to the birthday cake or the brownies.

"If you look at the quality of the foods people got, it definitely did not necessarily adhere to the dietary guidelines very closely", he continued.

"The majority of the calories people got at work, people didn't pay for - 70 percent of the calories were free", said study co-author Stephen Onufrak, an epidemiologist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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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.

The researchers analyzed the food and beverages available in workplace vending machines, cafeterias, in common areas, and at meetings or work-related social events.

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

To do so, they used data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Acquisition and Purchasing Survey, a national questionnaire on food purchases and acquisitions during a seven-day period. The CDC found that workers are eating too many calories at work. Researchers suggest that this can be done by using worksite wellness programs to promote healthy options that appealing at the same time.

"Employers can encourage healthier foods at meetings and events, especially when the employer is providing free food to employees", Onufrak told ABC.

"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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