Free Food At Work Is A Huge Contributor To Weight Gain: Drop That Pizza, Save Your Waistline

Free food at work is just the best. Two things: it's free and it's something to fill the stomach with. However, a new study reveals the danger caused by what employees eat at their work.

What's not to love about free food at work? It's a way to get through a meeting or a social event, and it totally doesn't come with a price tag. But it might be high time to re-evaluate one's diet after a recent study.

Apparently, the study showed just how much these "blessings in disguise" largely contribute to weight gain. It brings new light to the responsibility of the companies to bring better and healthier choices for its workers.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity epidemiologist Stephen Onufrak explained this was the first close look on the free food employees get at work. The data were from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Acquisition and Purchasing Survey. The team analyzed those food and beverage employees buy from vending machines or the cafeteria, or those they get for free in meetings or in events.


The study found out that free food at work have high sodium content and refined grains and in contrast, there are just fewer healthier food such as whole grains and fruits. Onufrak said that these "do not align well with the recommendations in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans."

It showed that nearly 25 percent of the employees got food at work once a week. Moreover, the average calories consumed from these peaked at 1,300 per week. The food obtained were high in empty calories, sugars, and solid fats, and 71 percent of the calories were obtained from free food.

The result was shocking, at least for Onufrak, who voiced out his disbelief of the amount of free food at work. That said, he was also unsure whether people getting these food are thinking of their health and added that they might be unaware of the calories they are getting.

Call For Participation

"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," Onufrak said.

Indeed, the study raises the role of companies and employers in the wellbeing of their employees. Of course, the culprit may be the most common food offered for free during meetings and birthdays such as pizzas and cupcakes.

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