Candy: Worker friend or foe?

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I don’t know about you, but there always seems to be some sort of tasty temptation hanging around my office. Whether it’s the cookies that a hopeful vendor sends to woo our business (who has money for that these days?) or the array of leftovers brought in by a co-worker who’s taking a baking class or even the Twizzlers someone picked up on a quick trip to Walgreens, sugary snacks are not in short supply around CareerBuilder.

Maybe that’s one of the reasons for our most recent survey on work weight gain. That and the fact that the candy industry is still thriving in this down economy. Experts attribute this to the fact that candy is an inexpensive form of comfort. And speaking of the economy, we all know that stress triggers eating.

All of these factors may be contributing to the expanding waistlines of U.S. workers as one-in-ten report increased snacking during the day due to concerns over the current economic situation. Overall, 43 percent say they have gained weight in their current jobs, according to the new CareerBuilder survey.

“Weight gain in the office is common and is a result of a variety of issues including today’s economic stress and poor eating habits,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of Human Resources for CareerBuilder.com. “Making little adjustments to your routine, such as bringing your lunch to work, getting up from your desk during the day, and walking instead of driving or taking public transportation will help curb some of your financial worries, while making you healthier.”

Eating habits can often be a culprit in workplace weight gain. Nearly two-in-five (39 percent) employees surveyed eat out for lunch twice or more per week, making it difficult to control portions and calorie intake. In addition, 12 percent buy their lunch out of a vending machine at least once a week.

Snacking can also be a slippery slope for those trying to cut back on calories, as two-thirds (67 percent) of employees surveyed snack at least once a day, including 24 percent that snack twice a day.

One of the ways employees can cut back on workplace weight gain is by heading to the gym during lunch hour, but according to the survey, only 9 percent of employees work up a sweat in the middle of the day.

More employees may be inclined to take advantage of gym facilities during lunch and outside of work, though, as 25 percent of companies now provide gym passes, workout facilities or wellness benefits.

One Comment
  1. This observation is very true and even more apparent in my office. Some of my co-workers go to BJ’s Wholesale Club to buy snacks. This post is a good idea for my next blog at ChowJobs (www.chowjobs.com). THANKS.

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