From “Happy Birthday” cupcakes to holiday party sweets, there’s more junk in your office than your junk drawer. Experts complain this company “cake culture” is contributing to poor dental health and obesity. On the other hand, we’re adults capable of making our own choices. Just because the donuts are there doesn’t mean you have to eat them.
So who’s to blame?
• From Rush Hour to Sugar Rush
One dentist cites the workplace as a primary site for sugar intake. And companies have come a long way from the front desk candy bowl.
These days offices feature fully stocked kitchens filled with popcorn, chips and other naughty noshings. Companies are using these snack perks as a selling point for prospective hires. Free food creates a “warm, welcoming atmosphere,” according to the Tumblr CEO. Unfortunately, unhealthy snacks are not welcoming to willpower.
• Anything But a Piece of Cake
When your considerate co-worker offers you chocolate, isn’t it rude to say no? Besides fear of being the office killjoy, science says it’s harder to reject food when it’s nearby.
Once you pop that piece of chocolate, snacking can start a scary cycle. Random snacking tricks our brains and bellies into thinking we need more food throughout the day.
• Workplace and Willpower Can Work Together
Talk to your HR department about swapping sugar and soda for salads and water. Healthier options can positively influence eating behaviors, according to a 2010 study. If pastries are present, decide if indulging is worth it. If energy is low, you may need a screen break—not a snack break.