We spend a lot of time at work. In fact, we spend more time with our colleagues than with our family and friends.
Therefore, it’s only natural that their habits and routines start to rub off on us. But have you ever stopped to think about how your coworkers are affecting your waistline?
If you’re trying to eat healthy this summer then the first thing you should do is consider what you eat while you’re at work. New research presented at the American Society for Nutrition found 1/4 of Americans ”acquire” nearly 1,300 calories at work each week.
And those calories don’t include lunch. The survey only included foods people didn’t bring to work themselves, and food they didn’t buy from outside vendors.
“The majority of the calories people got at work, people didn’t pay for — 70% of the calories were free,” said study co-author Stephen Onufrak, an epidemiologist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The food and drinks that were most commonly obtained at work were:
- French fries
- Diet soft drinks
If you break it down by calories however pizza was the leading source followed by sandwiches.
Angela Amico, a policy associate at the Center for Science in the Public Interest who was involved in the study stated that “Americans are not consuming enough fruits, vegetables and dairy and it can be challenging to meet those guidelines when you have a food environment that doesn’t support it.”
What can you do to change the food environment in your workplace? Onufrak believes that companies must get involved.
“If you look at data on worksite wellness programs, they’re effective at getting people to have healthier behaviors, reducing health care costs and reducing absenteeism. I think encouraging a healthy diet is an essential part of a worksite wellness program,” he explained.
So, if your company doesn’t already have a workplace wellness programme in place talk to HR. It could make all the difference.