I’m starting to think they’re trying to kill us…
…or at least make us all resemble blimps.
I just Googled unhealthy food at work and came across this article: Junk Food at Work: How Innocent it Seems, and Yet, How Bad It Is. Yes. This is exactly how I feel. I doubt my workplace would endeavor to ban unhealthy food right away (any kind of change is typically an uphill battle around here), but as far as I’m concerned, it’s worth pursuing.
Of course, the article made me wonder whether any other employers in the area have implemented a similar policy. In that search, I stumbled across a blog post asking how people would feel about a junk-food-free workplace. The answer? Probably not great. Something about taking away the freedom to chow down on 5,000 calories a day.
I’m somewhere in the middle on this issue. I’m a proponent of personal responsibility, for sure – I chose to educate myself about my own health and I took control of my diet, and I continue to do so every day. I didn’t used to, however. It wasn’t lack of education that was stopping me from making healthy choices, it was laziness. Living this way is a lot of work, but I’ve learned that it’s worth the effort. I wish I’d known years ago.
You’ll notice I said that it was laziness that was causing me to make the wrong choices. I’ll expound upon that. I say “laziness” because I’d look around the office and see candy and chocolate and donuts, and not a piece of fruit in sight. “Sure, I could walk to the store and picked up something a little healthier if I was hungry, but that would take me away from the office, whereas this delicious-looking confection is conveniently located five feet from my desk…” The other problem? Frugality. I’m not a frugal person by nature – I excel in consumerism – but I see free food and contrast it with the option of paying for food, and suddenly the former becomes that much more appealing.
I don’t think banning junk food altogether is a good solution. People should have the freedom to choose what they eat. I also don’t think it should be an uphill battle to make the right choices. So, either institute a policy that encourages the sharing of nutritious food in addition to or instead of the junk food, or simply discourage the sharing of junk food. I don’t care if one of my coworkers brings a cupcake with her lunch, but did she really have to buy twelve and set them out where everyone has access? That should be banned.
We are all taught the fundamentals of sharing early on in life. Share Legos, share Barbies, share crayons… but sharing these sugary snacks is like sharing the flu: you’re just perpetuating an unhealthy cycle, and you should probably just be keeping it to yourself.