If you work in an office, then you’re likely familiar with office snacks. Bagel Fridays, the monthly birthday cake, those donuts your boss brought in to celebrate everyone’s hard work. You know the drill. It’s basically 70% of what makes work worthwhile (we kid…kind of). And unfortunately, a new study shows that all that work-place grazing could be bad for our health (cue us covering our ears and running from the room).
According to the Boston Globe, the CDC examined data from a U.S. Department of Agriculture survey that focused on food intake over a period of one week. A total of 5,222 workers were involved in the study, and overall, the work snacks these employees enjoyed were high in sodium and refined carbs — aka things we’re technically supposed to eat in moderation.
What’s more, work snacks add up. The study found that 20% of Americans get free food at work — about 1,300 extra calories worth per week, and that free workplace treats make up 71% of calories employees eat on the job.
As ABC News noted, since the results were based on survey respondents’ memories of what they ate in a week, the study is not perfect. But it still serves as a helpful reminder to stay conscious of our habits while in the office.
And how can employers offset this trend?
They can start by offering healthier snacks at meetings and social events. It may be a bummer, but swapping out things like cupcakes for fresh fruit could make for healthier offices overall. The study even concluded it would be in a company’s best interest to do so, because changing workplace food culture could make for healthier employees.
While it’s definitely useful to keep track of what goes in our bodies, and we’re glad the study is highlighting a little-explored part of our daily health, we’re also not gonna start sweating the occasional office donut (sorry not sorry).
What are your thoughts on workplace snack culture?