LIFESTYLE

Office 'Cake Culture' Fuelling Obesity Crisis And Tooth Decay, Expert Warns

Oh boy.

24/06/2016 08:54

If you're an office feeder, then you might want to read this.

Workplace "cake culture" is fuelling the obesity epidemic and contributing to poor dental health, an expert has warned.

Professor Nigel Hunt said that for many people, the workplace is now the main place they eat sugar.

He suggested that a culture change is needed to help workers resist sweet treats in the office and advised that instead of cake and biscuits, we should be opting for healthier options such as fruit platters, nuts or cheese.

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Speaking at an annual dinner of dentists in London, Professor Nigel Hunt, from the Royal College of Surgeons, said he was particularly concerned that excessive consumption of sugary treats such as cakes, sweets and biscuits is contributing to tooth decay in adults.

Between 2014 and 2015, there were 64,984 adults treated in hospital for tooth decay.

He said: "Managers want to reward staff for their efforts, colleagues want to celebrate special occasions, and workers want to bring back a gift from their holidays.

"But 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."

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He added: "It is particularly dangerous that this is lying around the office all day for as we know, sugar has a particularly negative effect if it’s eaten outside of meal time.

"Dentists recommend cutting down on sugary and starchy food and drinks, particularly between meals, as the bacteria in plaque feed on these carbohydrates and produce acid which causes tooth decay.

"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 into the temptation of the doughnuts, cookies or the triple chocolate biscuits?"

Professor Hunt warned that we shouldn't give it up altogether, but should instead be more careful of how much and what we buy.

"I’m not saying we need to ban such treats," he said. "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 such snacks in meetings."

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