English dentists tell employers to turn 'cake cultures' into healthier spaces

Dive Brief:

  • British dentists are blaming the “cake culture” in the workplace for tooth decay, obesity and diabetes, reports CNBC. London’s Faculty of Dental Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons issued a public statement calling the workplace one of the main sources of excessive sugar consumption.
  • A 2015 health survey found that two out of three adults in England were overweight or obese. In the public statement, Professor Nigel Hunt, dean of the Faculty of Dental Surgery, said employers must foster healthier work environments.
  • The Faculty of Dental Surgery commended Google for reducing calorie intake in its workplace, says CNBC. The tech giant puts sugary foods in opaque containers to make them less accessible, while making healthier food choices more visible. In 2013, Google claimed its New York employees ate 3.1 million fewer calories in a seven-week period.

Dive Insight:

Workplaces are gathering spaces. Employers often recognize workers through banquets and they shouldn’t end these social gatherings at the risk of alienating workers. Nor should they try to remove all calorie-laden sweets from the workplace. But they can promote healthier lifestyles, through structured health and wellness programs, workshops or Intranet-based programs.

Creating a workspace that encourages health, either by encouraging healthy food options like Google did or making the office more walkable, or example, is one way to improve employee wellness overall.

Filed Under: HR Management Comp & Benefits Corporate News
Top image credit: Flickr user Foodista