Office workers blame colleagues for inability to diet, Co-operative finds

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British office workers blame their colleagues for their inability to diet, new research by The Cop-operative Food has revealed.

Its study shows desk-based office employees put on an average of 10 pounds during their first year of employment.

But rather than taking responsibility for their own weight gain, 64% of people point the finger at co-workers for bringing in too many cakes and treats, The Co-operative Food found.

A further 14% of office workers feel under constant peer pressure to join in when goodies are passed round.

And 24% can’t resist the unhealthy snacks brought in to celebrate birthdays and other events.

As such, on average, office workers will succumb to their first sweet snack by 10:04am and continue to munch their way through the rest of the day.

Six in 10 British office workers admit they do need to lose weight – but in the current working environment most only last a total of six days on a diet before cracking under pressure, researchers found.

Janet Taylor, diet and health manager for The Co-operative Food, said: “The office appears to be a ‘no go area’ for people trying to stick to a healthier diet, with boredom levels and the temptation to snack on unhealthy foods from ‘diet saboteurs’ causing colleagues to pile on the pounds.

“Interestingly, those admitting they need to lose those workplace wobbly bits, say they only manage to stick to a diet or healthy eating plan for six days before caving in to the cakes, chocolates and treats brought in by colleagues.”

The study shows 74% of office workers admit to consuming far more food at work than they ever would do at home.

And 73% of office workers believe the sedentary nature of their job has led to them putting on weight.

A fifth of respondents eat more sweet treats at work in a bid to be more sociable, and four in 10 always go out for a pub lunch if an office colleague suggests it, the study showed.

And 16% claim even when they try to stop thinking about food, someone in the office will be talking about it.

As well as finding it hard to say no to colleagues, 21% of people admit if the snacks are there in front of them, they are impossible to resist.

Chocolate is the biggest temptation for bored office workers, closely following by crisps, biscuits and cake.

Taylor said: “By following a few simple tips, you can turn your office environment from an unhealthy food den of despair to a fresh and healthy haven. Swapping a packet of biscuits for a platter of fresh fruit will help meet your five-a-day target, and having healthy alternatives, such as carrot sticks or rice cakes, close to hand will help you ward off temptation from the office ‘feeders’, intent on tempting you with unhealthy treats.

“If all else fails, escaping the office at lunchtime for a brisk walk will put you out of harm’s way, as well as breaking up your day and burning off calories.

“There’s nothing wrong with the occasional treat, but a balanced diet, with plenty of exercise, is the best way to stay in shape and ward off those office-induced pounds.”

Top 10 reasons why Brits eat more at work

1To pass away the time when bored

2. Colleagues are constantly bringing in snacks and treats

3. It is always someone’s birthday so cakes are brought in

4, Because food is always there and is too tempting

5. Colleagues talk about food all the time

6. Colleagues encourage everyone to eat

7. You actually have more time to eat at work than at home

8. Meetings over lunch

9. Eating and drinking after work with the boss or colleagues

10. Snack more at the desk