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Dentists call for end to ‘workplace cake culture’

Dentists have urged employers and their staff to stop sharing and eating cakes and biscuits in their offices because it is leading to health problems.

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The UK’s “workplace cake culture” is furthering the obesity epidemic and tooth decay in adults, according to the Faculty of Dental Surgery (FDS). It said work is now the main place that many people consume sugar. 

Professor Nigel Hunt, dean of the FDS at the Royal College of Surgeons in London, 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. 

“While these sweet treats might be well-meaning, they are also contributing to the current obesity epidemic and poor oral health. 

“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 FDS said employers can help workers make healthier choices by substituting sugary products available in meetings for lower sugar alternatives, and by removing high sugar products from office vending machines. 

Its tips for reducing sugar intake included only eating sweet treats at lunchtime and putting them further away, out of sight.

 

Keeley Downey is acting deputy editor of IOSH Magazine. She is a former editor of Biofuels International, Bioenergy Insight and Tank Cleaning Magazine

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