Does Your Workplace Snack Culture Jeopardize Your Waistline?

May 23, 2011
It might look innocent at first glance, but that vending machine in the employee break room might wreak havoc on workers’ eating habits and waistlines – not to mention productivity.

According to Dian Griesel, Ph.D., and Tom Griesel, co-founders and co-presidents of The Business School of Happiness, the mere sight or smell of candy, cookies, donuts or other sugary concoctions may trigger a desire to eat some of these unhealthy snacks. That means having an abundance of these foods in break rooms or in office vending machines can spell danger for employee health.

Dian Griesel and Tom Griesel point out that unhealthy eating habits and diets high in sugar may lead to an increase in sick days used by employees, as well as listlessness or moodiness resulting from sugar crashes.

“Today, the average American eats his or her weight in sugar every year. The typical person eats 50 teaspoons of sugar every day – most of it hidden in processed and packaged foods,” explained Tom Griesel. “We believe more health problems can be traced to sugar use than any other single item eaten today.”

Dian Griesel called sugar a “destructive, addictive drug” responsible for health ailments including obesity, heart disease, hypoglycemia, diabetes and more.

The Griesels recommend discouraging unhealthy workplace snacking. Instead of that box of donuts, bring fresh fruit as an office snack and encourage other workers to do the same. In addition, consider starting a company weight-loss challenge or provide employees with the resources and time to exercise.

The bottom line? Don’t compromise your waistline by taking too many detours past the vending machine.

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