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Pizza ordered for a working lunch. A cake to celebrate the birthday of a colleague. Potato chips in the machine.
Foods like these are too prevalent in workplaces, according to a study released on Tuesday. And in order to tackle the obesity epidemic, America needs to improve the food that is provided or purchased at the workplace to achieve better alignment with dietary guidelines, researchers call. It is usually marked high in empty calories, sodium and refined grain.
More than 23% of the workers surveyed either purchased or had free food at their workplace and usually reached high levels of empty calories, sodium and refined grain, the study found.
"Leading food types include foods that are usually high in fat, added sugars or sodium, such as pizza, regular soft drinks, biscuits or pastries, cakes and pies and candies," according to a paper in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Americans are piling up pounds. Data from the federal government show that nearly 40% of adults are obese in 201
The new study is a different view of the difficult problem, recognizing that "little is known about eating habits in the workplace." About 150 million Americans spend most of their hours at work – and may be willing to eat stress.
Of course, just revisiting the menu at the workplace will not correct the nation's epidemic. This is a complex public health issue that does not only relate to calorie counting but also to access to healthy foods.
For example, a recent study concluded that the vast amount of food advertisements targeting African-American and Spanish youths are related to unhealthy food. Child obesity rates are also rising – 18.5% in 2015-2016, compared with 13.9% in 1999-2000. About 150 million Americans spend most of their waking hours at a time of work – and may be inclined to eat stress.
However, workplace wellness programs – which in other contexts can help smokers to take the habit or promote physical activity – are well suited to influencing better food options at work, they said researchers.
"Including guidelines for food services in health programs can help employers to offer attractive and healthy options that empower employees to choose," said Stephen Onufrak, the lead researcher who is a researcher at the Department of Nutrition Disease and Disease Control, Physical Activity and Obesity.
Some questioned the effectiveness of health programs. A separate study does not show a great difference in absenteeism, productivity and overall health among workers involved in a wellness work program and those who are not. Do not Miss: Al Rocker vs. Gillian Michaels: Who's Right About Keto's Diet? Workplace food research began with more than 5,000 enrolled adults who recorded the food they consume during the seven-day period. The data were collected between April 2012 and January 2013.
Food workplace research began with more than 5,000 employed adults who recorded the food they consumed during a seven-day period.
The survey also ranked the most commonly received food and drink at work, whether or not workers paid for them.
Coffee was the first to be consumed in 849 cases during the experimental period. Regular non-alcoholic beverages appear second, 511 times broken, and sandwiches are third, consumed 317 times.
Overall, participants in the study ate or drank about 6,850 products – more than 70% of food and beverages at the workplace were free of charge. Educational training for a person is the strongest predictor of whether they have food in the workplace. College graduates were twice as likely to have food on the spot as compared to high school graduates.
Researchers have pointed out that previous studies say older college students are more likely to work for large employers who in turn were more likely to have vending machines and cafes in their premises.
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