Food at work is usually unhealthy, contributes to bad habits

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

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

A STUDY of more than 5,000 employees found the food they consume, hunched over desks or laptops, are full of salt and unhealthy refined grains.

The study looked at more than 5,000 employees from a USA firm, examining food or beverages obtained at work.

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.

"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". The researchers looked at the food or beverages bought from cafeterias and vending machines at work, they also analyzed the free food in the common areas.

The study was presented at the Nutrition 2018 meeting held in Boston.

The data for the study was collected from a national survey in order to determine who was getting healthy food in the office and just how much were the people consuming. They rarely included whole grains or fruit. More than 70 percent of those calories came from food that was free.

Researchers say that employers should take some responsibility for this trend and think more about how to provide healthier food options to their employees.

Nearly 25 percent of study participants reported eating food from work at least once a week, and the average weekly calories obtained from these foods was around 1,300.

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

"Our results suggest that the foods people get from work do not align well with the recommendations in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans", he said in his statement.

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. In addition, employers could regulate foods in cafeterias or vending machines, supplying only those that follow nutritional guidelines.

Stephen Onufrak, epidemiologist at the CDC and lead author of the study said that this is the first national study to be conducted in order to look at the food people get at the workplace.

Onufrak also recommended worksite wellness programs which have been effective at cultivating health-conscious behavior among employees, reducing employee absenteeism and health care costs.

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