Healthy snacking in the workplace may be vital if we’re going to solve our obesity crisis
According to the NHS, the majority of UK adults are overweight or obese. Whilst 60% of women and 67% of men are classified as overweight or obese, 29% and 26% respectively could be classified as obese. We all know the health problems that obesity can increase the risk of, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, some types of cancer, and stroke. Given that in 2018/19 there were 11,117 hospital admissions directly contributed to obesity, this is a public health crisis that we need to work together to tackle.
Why Obesity is a Problem in The Workplace
The World Health Organisation cites two main reasons for the worldwide increase in obesity. Firstly, an increase in the consumption of high calorie foods laden with saturated fat and sugars. Secondly, an increase in inactivity, often due to increased urbanisation, changing ways of transportation, and the sedentary nature of many jobs.
Long periods of inactivity aren’t the only way in which the workplace is contributing to obesity. A US study by CareerBuilder found 80% of full-time employees snack at work. In fact, researchers at the CDC found the average working adult in America ate almost 1300 calories a week in snacks at work. They also noted that many of these snacks were provided for free.
It’s important for workplaces to lead the fight against obesity, not just because they contribute to weight gain, but also because obesity can impact productivity. A study by Fit For Work found that in a company of 1000 employees, obesity could cost £126,000 in lost productivity a year. This is because obesity can increase the risk of illness, causing employees to take time off work. Employees may also be distracted by pain and tiredness at work, which can be attributed to obesity-related health conditions such as sleep apnoea and back pain.
How to Snack Well
There are ways to reduce unhealthy snacking. Common tried and tested methods include timing your meals to reduce hunger, upping your fibre and protein intake, and drinking plenty of water. However, snacking doesn’t have to be a bad thing. In fact, when you snack on the right foods, it can actually improve your overall health, help you lose weight, and increase your productivity.
One way that snacking can help weight loss is by controlling hunger. Eating a healthy snack may reduce how much you eat at your next meal. One study showed that when a high protein, high fibre snack was eaten, there was a decrease in the hunger hormone ghrelin and an increase in the fullness hormone GLP-1. Those in the study ended up consuming 425 fewer calories on average. By contrast, processed, high sugar foods lead to a sharp spike in blood sugar, and are less filling. This means you’ll be hungry shortly after, and may end up consuming more calories.
How Snackcess Can Help
At Snackcess, we want to make healthy snacking easier.
We send out boxes of healthy snacks to workplaces and employees working from home. We believe that when people have access to healthy snacks, they will improve their overall health by consuming less processed, unhealthy foods. As a result, they may be motivated to make better choices.
Our snacks can aid weight loss by keeping you fuller for longer. Many of our snacks are low in calorie so can fit well into the calorie controlled diet recommended in the Government’s new obesity measures.
So, if you’re looking to lose weight, or just improve the health of you or your employees, Snackcess can help make eating healthy easier.