How to cut out those cakes & sugary foods at work

It’s New Year and many of us are making our resolutions. One of the resolutions you may be doing or trying to do is to cut out sugar from your diet.

In the news yesterday (3 January 2017), The Faculty of Dental Surgery (FDS) issues a press release about the increase in office workers eating cakes and sugary foods whilst at work. You can read more about office cake culture and the impact on our health and teeth on the talkhealth blog here.

The FDS have put together their five tops tips for cutting sugar consumption:

1. Consider low sugar alternatives: Instead of buying sugary foods like cakes, biscuits and sweets, treat your colleagues to low sugar alternatives.

2. Reduce portion sizes: We all eat too much. So think about reducing your portion size – perhaps select the small bag rather than the big one.

3. Avoid snacking and keep sugar as a lunchtime treat: If a colleague does bring cake or sweets into the office, avoid snacking throughout the day and only consume sugary foods at lunchtime. This will help reduce your overall sugar intake and it’s also much better for your teeth.

4. Develop a sugar schedule to help limit your team’s sugar intake: There may be times when cake just keeps appearing in the office – for example a colleagues birthday or another special event that just seems to be happening every day. So why not organise a sugar schedule. For example, if there are birthdays on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, arrange to have cake at Friday lunchtime to celebrate all three, rather than on each individual day.

5. Location, location, location – think carefully about where cake and sugar is positioned. Research suggests that people will eat more sweets if they are nearby and visible than if they are placed further away. Therefore, try to put sugary treats out of eyesight.

If you are an employer, you can help your staff to make healthier choices by:

  • Substituting sugary products available in meetings, like biscuits, for lower sugar alternatives, such as plain nuts and fruit.
  • Reviewing the content of office vending machines and removing high sugar products.
  • Ensuring that lower sugar options are always available in staff canteens and making sugary products less visible.

The FDS is recommending that the Government should work with supermarkets and other food retailers to restrict price promotions on sugary products, and replace high sugar foods at the point of sale with healthier alternatives.

In the meantime try the tips above. Small changes can pay large rewards! Good luck.

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Last revised: 6 January 2017
Next review: 6 January 2020