Working women consume an extra 100,000 calories a year, according to a new study conducted by Kallø, purveyors of rice cakes. The culprit? Office snacks.
Ever find yourself mindlessly pocketing packets of nuts or picking off a piece of a donut en route to the restroom or meandering back to your desk after a totally taxing conference call? Your wandering eye catches that brimming bucket of munchies and curiosity consumes you—you take a peek, then take your pick. And you risk packing on 28 pounds a year because of it.
The researchers behind the study looked at 1,000 women who work in offices and found that women indulge in at least three snacks during a typical working day, totaling almost 500 calories a day, or 2,240 calories a week on average. The National Health Service (NHS) guidelines state that women should eat no more than 2,000 calories a day to maintain a healthy lifestyle, which means that women are taking in more than an entire day’s worth of calories in a given work week.
What exactly are they reaching for? Thirty-nine percent admit to hiding away packets of biscuits and 45 percent confess that they have a personal stash of “crisps”—yes, Kallø is an English brand. The survey concludes that a total of 135 cookies and crisp bags, 90 slices of cake, 90 packets of sweets, 45 donuts, 45 packets of nuts and 45 bags of dried fruits are consumed each year. On a healthier note, 47 percent of the respondents indeed went for the free fruit to keep hunger at bay, meaning 180 pieces are eaten over the course of the year, too.
In hindsight, one could have thrown back 1,254 glasses of Prosecco, inhaled 193 double burgers or put away 502 chocolate bars instead, but office snacks are often complimentary, so we suppose the aforementioned picks are justifiable…
To little surprise, before and after lunch — 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. — are prime times for chowing down, and also when sugar-laden, milky coffees including mochas and lattes turn us into a bunch of wide-eyed, harried typers. And, of course, women are most likely to indulge on Fridays, followed by Mondays.
Kallø marketing director, Gill Green, said: “Women are consuming thousands of extra calories a week through the snacks they eat. So we’re launching our Snack Swap campaign to show them that, through some simple snack swaps, they can drastically reduce the number of calories they consume without giving up the snacks altogether.”
She adds that “life isn’t about being free from; it’s about being free to,” and, at Kallø, they don’t think eating sensibly is tantamount to forbidding ourselves the foods we love. In essence, we can all make some smarter choices and find some healthy work snacks that can still satisfy those tempting tastes that tickle our fancies.
Not that working women evidently need any more, but this is just some food for thought…
AnnaMarie Houlis is a multimedia journalist and an adventure aficionado with a keen cultural curiosity and an affinity for solo travel. She's an editor by day and a travel blogger at HerReport.org by night.