• Over a quarter of diets fail due to unhealthy workplace snacking

• A third of all snacking takes place at our desks

• Marketing people top the unhealthy table, with lawyers at the bottom

Our workplaces are to blame for our diet failures, new research reveals today.

In a study conducted by Fruyo – the new fruit-based snack from the makers of Total Greek Yoghurt – results reveal that over a quarter of diets fail because of unhealthy snacking in the workplace (27%).

Unhealthy snacks reign supreme in the office, with the top three items being cookies (37%), chocolate (32%) and crisps (30%). Meanwhile, healthy choices, such as fresh fruit (23%), low fat yoghurt (6%) and crackers (2%) lag behind.

The findings also reveal that we love to eat ‘al desko’, with over third of all snacking (31%) occurring at our desks. However, for nearly one in ten people (8%), they admit to snacking in secret whilst at work, in places such behind their computer screens and even the toilets.

Cookies by Kimberly Vardeman

Cookies by Kimberly Vardeman

When it comes to the reasons why, boredom, according to over two fifths of respondents, is the number one excuse (41%), followed by the urge for an unhealthy treat (31%) and a lack of energy (26%). Office workers also seek solace in snacking when they are stressed (20%) – media, marketing and design professionals cite this at their top reason.

Overall, marketing professionals are the worst for their snacking habits. They are at the top of the unhealthy table, with over half (58%) admitting to having one of the 4 Cs (chocolate, cake, crisps and cookies) every day, and bottom of the healthy table, with only one in ten (11%) saying they snack on healthy items, such as fruit and low fat yoghurt. Ironically, nearly half of health sector professionals reach for the treats tin on a daily basis (47%), with teachers and accountants not far behind (46% and 44% respectively). Lawyers, who are not very snack-tastic, can be pleased with bottom place of the unhealthy table, with only a quarter of them snacking on unhealthy food (25%).

Nutritionist and food writer, Fiona Hunter commented:

These findings outline how quick we are to blame our work and our colleagues for our diet failures. I often hear employees saying it’s difficult to eat healthily whilst they are working, but it doesn’t have to be tricky. I’d recommend planning healthy, protein-rich snacks, to keep your energy levels up and temptation at bay. By seeing snacking as a positive element to your working day, it’ll help you to make structured, informed choices, keeping you and your diet in line.

Alison White, spokeswoman for Fruyo (FAGE UK), added:

It’s apparent that some sectors are more inclined to eat unhealthily than others – blaming our habits on office treats. It also seems many of us feel pressured by our colleagues to snack out of sight. To help with this unease, and promote healthy snacking, we’re challenging local businesses, across the country, to make smarter choices and swap their usual cookies and crisps for healthier snacks to feel the difference both within themselves and across their workplace too. We can help by providing inspiration and helping to change people’s perceptions, proving that healthy snacking can be delicious!"

In response to these findings, FAGE UK – the makers of Fruyo and Total Greek Yoghurt – are laying down the ‘Ditch & Switch’ Snack Challenge, where any workplace that promises to ban chocolate, cake, crisps and cookies for a month will receive a supply of fruit and Fruyo yoghurt to get their health kicks back on track.

Fruyo combines fat-free TOTAL Greek Yoghurt with real fruit pieces to create a natural, high-protein treat, perfect for snacking, breakfast or dessert. It contains no preservatives, colourings or artificial sweeteners and contains just 82-93 kcal per 100g. It comes in six fruit flavours and is now available in Sainsbury’s, Nisa, Wholefoods, Booths, Waitrose and Ocado.

For further information on the ‘Ditch and Switch’ Challenge, visit their Facebook page at bit.ly/ditchswitch and to find out more about Fruyo head to uk.fage.eu.

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