I love getting free food at the office. It’s the best! I think the bowl of chocolates that sits in our office reception area is a wonderful thing. (So delicious.)

And I’m not the only one who feels the love. Studies have shown that when businesses provide their employees with free snacks, employee happiness ratings shoot up. That’s why so many companies have started offering their employees this popular perk.

But free food at work does have its downside. Even though chocolate and chips are delicious, it’s not exactly healthy to be snacking on Swedish Fish and M&M’s all day. It can have a negative impact on people’s weight and overall health.

So if your office provides unhealthy snacks and you find it difficult to resist them, what should you do? Well, it wouldn’t be right for you to demand that they be removed. Your coworkers would be rightfully upset! But there are things you can do to make it easier for you (and others) to make healthier choices.

  • Request healthy snacks – If your office provides free chocolate, that’s a wonderful thing. But it would also be nice if they provided healthy alternatives – like fruit. Ask if healthy options could be made available.
  • Distance yourself – People tend to eat more unhealthy snacks when they’re easily accessible. Researchers have found that when snacks are placed right next to the area where people get their drinks and coffee, people will snack more. However, if the snacks are placed just a few feet away, people will snack less. So make sure the unhealthy snacks aren’t that readily available.
  • Hide them away – Google provides their employees with free snacks, but they were concerned about unhealthy eating habits. So they conducted an interesting experiment. They started putting healthy snacks in clear bowls and M&M’s in opaque bowls. And they found that their employees ate much fewer M&M’s. Just making the unhealthy snacks a little harder to see can make them easier to avoid.

 

Boardman, S. (2016, June 3). The problem with free food at the office. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from http://blogs.wsj.com/experts/2016/06/03/the-problem-with-free-food-at-the-office/

 

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