Okay, we all know a little sweet treat at work can do wonders to lift morale – but now we are told it is bad bad bad for us!

 

Doctors are warning people that eating cake at work is ruining their teeth and contributing to an epidemic of obesity.

This warning has just been issued by Britain's Royal College of Surgeons.

Professor Nigel Hunt, Dean of the Faculty of Dental Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons, is calling on workers to abandon bringing cake and lollies, or other sweet treats to work, and for biscuits to be banned from the tea room and meetings.

He acknowledges that managers like rewarding staff with cake for their efforts, and that colleagues want to celebrate special occasions like birthdays with cake, but cautions that this is leading to health problems – especially for sedentary workers who sit on the backsides all day and do not get much exercise.

For many people the workplace is now the primary site of their sugar intake and is contributing to the current obesity epidemic and poor oral health, he warns.

It is particularly dangerous when sweet treats are lying around the office all day, as sugar has a particularly negative effect if it's eaten outside of meal times.

"Our cake culture also poses difficulties for those who are trying their hardest to lose weight or become healthier – how many of us have begun such diets only to cave in to the temptation of the doughnuts, cookies or the triple chocolate biscuits?" he said.

"I'm not saying we need to completely ban such treats. But we do need a change in culture.

"When people are going out to the shops and buying cake and sweets they should at least consider buying smaller quantities and making them available only with lunch meals.

"Ideally office workers should consider other alternatives altogether like fruit platters, nuts, or cheese. Responsible employers should take a lead and avoid offering such snacks in meetings." 

Global overeating has become a bigger problem than world hunger with more people now obese than underweight, the biggest ever study of worldwide trends in body mass index revealed earlier this year.

Over the past 40 years, the rate of obesity has increased 2.6-fold and the number of obese people worldwide has blown out from 105 million in 1975 to 641 million in 2014, the study found. Nearly 13 per cent of the global population is now obese, compared with just over 9 per cent who are underweight.

So, if you must eat cake, here are some simple guidelines:

Only eat a small slice and have it with your lunch; put leftovers away for the next day – do not eat more than one slice of cake/one biscuit a day; choose cakes with lower sugar content; use natural non-toxic sweeteners like stevia instead of sugar; choose cakes made with almond meal instead of white flour; add some extra activity to your day when you have eaten cake – climb some stairs or go for a walk; do not consume any other sugar on a day when you have eaten cake; limit your further intake of all carbohydrates on a day when you have eaten cake – eat high protein foods instead; drink plenty of filtered water every day and more when you have eaten cake.

Source: Based on an article originally published in The Telegraph London with BusinessDay