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For better health, steer clear of workplace snacks.

Occupational hazards can come from unexpected sources. You can be going about your workday, minding your own business, and suddenly a tray of cookies or a bowl of chips appears. You’re not hungry, per se, but find yourself eating anyway, rationalizing that there’s nothing wrong with having a treat every now and then. Except that “every now and then” happens…often. According to a new study, nearly a quarter of working adults eat foods and drinks offered at work at least once a week—and many do so far more frequently. And for the most part, it’s not carrots and apples on offer but high-calorie, low-nutrient foods such as baked goods, processed snack foods, soft drinks, and candy. The fact is, many of us eat a fair amount of junk food at work simply because it’s there! Keep in mind that the brain is programmed more to avoid famine than to resist feast; it’s hard not to eat tempting food that’s within reach. Arm yourself with this awareness—and with a nutritious lunch and snacks. The next time you happen upon a plate of brownies in the conference room, pause and check in with yourself: “Am I really hungry? Does this food align with the way I want to eat for my health?” And think twice before you bring that leftover birthday cake or Halloween candy into the office. Be the change you want to see!


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