Study Says You Need To Stop Eating At Your Workplace Right Away And Here’s Why
If you have a practice of “grabbing a bite” at your workplace, you need to think twice before doing that again. A recent study says that food that is served at workplace cafeterias tends to have a high amount of empty calories, sodium and very little whole grains and fruit, thus making it an unhealthy meal on the whole.
A study conducted by US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on 5,222 employees from a US firm showed that nearly a quarter of the employees had food from work at least once a week and their average weekly calories obtained came up to around 1,300. The food from workplace cafeterias has a high amount solid fats and/or added sugars, resulting in a lot of empty calories. 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.
The food and beverages that were analyzed by the researchers were that which the employees purchased at work from vending machines or cafeterias or which were obtained for free at meetings, social events at workplaces, common areas, etc.
“Our results suggest that the foods people get from work do not align well with the recommendations in the dietary guidelines,” said Stephen Onufrak to IndiaTv. He is an epidemiologist at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a part of the above-mentioned study. “Since we found that a lot of the foods obtained by employees were free, employers may also want to consider healthy meeting policies to encourage healthy food options at meetings and social events,” he added.
The results of this study call to attention the fact that workplaces play an important role in the health of a person and that access to healthier food options will go a long way in better health of the employees. Researchers suggest that this can be done by using worksite wellness programs to promote healthy options that appealing at the same time. Employers could also ensure that foods in cafeterias or vending machines follow food service guidelines, thus making it a better option for their employees.
“Worksite wellness programmes have the potential to reach millions of working people and have been shown to be effective at changing health behaviors among employees, reducing employee absenteeism and reducing health care costs,” added Onufrak.
The study was presented at the Nutrition 2018 meeting held in Boston.