If so, you would want to think twice, perhaps, it's time to put down that office meals and other foods.
Over 20% of people in the USA get food from work at least once a week and the first national study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that such food adds up to a lot of extra calories.
Americans are consuming upwards of 1,300 "extra" calories per week in the workplace, says new research from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. High levels of empty calories were sourced back to the solid fats and added sugars. Study shows many exceed adult recommendations.
The researchers are now examining the specific foods commonly purchased from vending machines and cafeterias in the workplace.
"Free food accounted for 71 percent of all calories acquired at work", Onufrak's team wrote in a summary of their work. "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 study was presented at an American Society for Nutrition meeting held on Monday. The study found that nearly 70 percent of those calories came from the free food provided in common areas, during work-related social events or meetings, the researchers analyzed that data from a household survey of food bought and acquisitions. They also believe foods in cafeterias or vending machines should follow proper food service guidelines.
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Nearly a quarter of the study participants obtained food from work at least once a week, the results revealed.
As most of the food the employees received at work was free, the employers may now have to consider encouraging healthy food options at social events and meetings, said Onufrak.
"Employers can encourage healthier foods at meetings and events, especially when the employer is providing free food to employees", Onufrak told ABC. They also recommend that employers help their employees eat better at work by using worksite wellness programs, promoting healthy options that are also appealing.
"Worksite wellness programs have the potential to reach millions of working Americans and have been shown to be effective at changing health behaviors among employees, reducing employee absenteeism and reducing health care costs", said Onufrak. 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.