If You Work in an Office, Chances Are This Is Making You Fat

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It’s doubtful we needed a study to uncover this universal truth: Office snacks are both our saviors and our foes. In times of stress, they’re the thing that can keep us sane, but all of those work snacks add up to thousands of more calories week. According to the natural food brand Kallø, the makers of a line of rice cakes, a recent study showed that most women consume an extra 100,000 calories a year due to office snacking.

The study was conducted over a 45-week period and followed the snacking habits of 1,000 female office workers and found that most women have at least three additional snacks during the work day, totaling in almost 500 extra calories a day (around 2,240 calories a week). Of that pool of women, 39 percent admitted to hiding cookies or crackers in their desks, and 45 percent say they keep their own personal stash of potato chips near them at all times.

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When it comes to chips, they’re a clear favorite amongst working girls, as the research found that on average, each participant consumed about 135 bags of chips per year. Not far behind chips are 90 slices of cake, 90 packets of sweets and 45 doughnuts that researchers said were enjoyed by the participants. Let's not point fingers over who is at fault for all of this over eating, but if we were to point a finger it would be at a coworker since one in seven women claimed they only snack more because they were brought in by another person (there’s always a saboteur in the office!). And drinks were found to be major a culprit as well, with many women citing coffee drinks like mochas and lattes, fizzy drinks and energy drinks as go-to pick-me-ups throughout the day.

But, it’s not all bad news, 47 percent of the respondents did say they also keep fruit at their desks, and according to study results each participant consumed about 180 pieces of fruit per year. And while 21 percent of the women said they have zero will power in the face of tasty, yet evil office snacks, the entire group agreed that 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. were peak snacking times. The numbers do sound terrible when broken down like this, but it’s not an easy task to get from breakfast to lunch without a snack break. The next study should really examine how a decrease in snacking affects the total productivity and mood of female office workers. All of these snacks might just be keeping some businesses afloat.