Medicine

Why eating at work can add on the pounds

Why eating at work can add on the pounds

Dr Stephen Onufrak, an expert in nutrition at the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, US, said: 'Our results suggest the foods people get from work do not align well with the recommendations in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans'.

The study was focused on data from the US Department of Agriculture Food Acquisition and Purchasing Survey (FoodAPS), involving more than 5,000 American employees.

The results have not been peer-reviewed and will be presented at Nutrition 2018. Another interesting find from the study was that more than 70 percent of the calories came from food that was got as free lunches at workplaces. Work foods were high in empty calories, sodium, and refined grains, and low in whole grains and fruit, according to the 2010 Health Eating Index.

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. Overall, 35, 20, 12, 11, 12, and 10 percent of those who obtained food at work had one, two, three, four, five, and more than five acquisition occasions, respectively. But it's OK to say no to the birthday cake or the brownies.

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




CDC researchers analyzed the food or beverages employees bought at work from vending machines or cafeterias or got for free from common areas, at meetings or workplace social functions.

The volunteers answered questions about the foods they obtained at work over a seven-day period. 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.

A growing number of workplace environments now encourage healthier eating habits and even provide wellness support or access to healthier foods in employee cafeterias. For their next study, the team will conduct a similar analysis using another dataset involving foods that are specifically purchased from vending machines and cafeterias in the workplace.

"Along with just offering those foods, they can promote them, make them attractive, delicious, priced competitively with less healthy foods, highlight them on menus, and put them in a prominent place", Onufrak said.

"We hope that the results of our research will help increase healthy food options at worksites in the U.S".


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