Pizzas ordered for a working lunch. Cake to celebrate a colleague’s birthday. Potato chips in the vending machine. Foods like these are all too prevalent in workplaces, according to a new study released. More than 23 percent of the surveyed workers either bought or had free food at work, and it typically scored high in empty calories, sodium and refined grain, the study determined.
The new study is a different look at the weighty problem, acknowledging “little is known about work-site food behaviors.”Some 150 million Americans spend most of their waking hours at work – and might be prone to stress eating. The research on food at the workplace started with more than 5,000 employed adults chronicling all the food they consumed during a seven-day period. The data was collected between April 2012 and January 2013.
The study also ranked the most commonly obtained food and drink on the job, whether workers paid for them or not. Coffee was by far and away first, consumed on 849 occasions during the experiment period. Regular soft drinks came in second, quaffed 511 times, and sandwiches were third-most consumed, eaten 317 times over the experiment period. In all, study participants ate or drank nearly 6,850 items and more than 70 percent of the workplace food and drink was for free.