Dentists urge employees to end the popular office “cake culture” in order to tackle obesity and tooth decay.
The Faculty of Dental Surgery said our habit of sharing cakes and biscuits in the workplace is damaging our health.
Professor Nigel Hunt, dean of the faculty at the Royal College of Surgeons, told the BBC employees should make a New Year’s resolution to “combat cake culture” in 2017.
According to the NHS, around one in every four adults in the UK is obese and overindulging on high-sugar foods is largely to blame.
Professor Hunt noted that managers often bring sugary treats into the workplace to reward staff, or employees bring them in for one another after holidays.
But, he said, these traditions are leading to a whole host of health problems.
“While these sweet treats might be well meaning, they are also contributing to the current obesity epidemic and poor oral health,” he added.
“We need a culture change in offices and other workplaces that encourages healthy eating and helps workers avoid caving in to sweet temptations such as cakes, sweets and biscuits.”
The faculty has recommended considering low-sugar alternatives and reducing portion sizes of snacks in work.
They also said workers could keep a “sugar schedule” to limit sugar intake, place treats somewhere they are not constantly visible and avoid snacking altogether, saving any cakes and biscuits for lunchtime.
This is not the first time Professor Hunt has criticised office cake culture.
Back in June 2016, he said: “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.”