chocolate, coffee
Eating free food at office worsens your health [Representational Image]Creative Commons

Are you that person who loves to gorge on a frosted chocolate cake left in the office break room, few snacks from the vending machines or cafeteria at work? Stop that habit right away!

A new study now shows that it is not the most nutritious snack and adds extra calories too.

The study says that snacking food at work adds an average of 1,300 calories in an employee's daily diet. The study was done using the data from the US Department of Agriculture Food Acquisition and Purchasing Survey.

The junk food consumed was found to be less nutritious, high on empty calories, and composed of solid fats and added sugars which make it absolutely not good.

The lead author of the study Stephen Onufrak said, "With employees spending eight hours a day on average at their place of employment, a lot of people may not be aware of all of the calories they get from work, especially from foods they get for free."

Stephen Onufrak, a CDC epidemiologist in the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity said, "This is the first study to use a nationally representative dataset of U.S. households. We limited the study to adult-aged participants, 18 and over, who are currently working."

In a survey conducted on 5,222 employees for over a period of one week, the participants were asked about their workplace eating habits, free food from meetings, social events, common areas, and cafeteria. The most common food they consumed included pizza, cookies, soda, cake, brownies, and candy. The average additional caloric consumption per week among those at work was 1,277 calories.

Out of the survey participants, only 8 percent bought their food at work and 17 percent ate for free.

Stephen Onufrak explained, "While work foods aren't really necessarily a huge source of calories overall in people's diets, I think they are still a significant source. If you look at the quality of the foods people got, it definitely did not necessarily adhere to the dietary guidelines very closely."

The researchers stressed how the employers can give healthier foods and take some responsibility for the trend.

Stephen Onufrak suggested how to make healthy food look appealing. "Promote them, make them attractive, delicious, priced competitively with less healthy foods, highlight them on menus, and put them," he said.

The results of the research were presented in the first week of June at the annual meeting of the American Society for Nutrition.