In a recent study examining the work and eating habits of 230 women, researchers found a connection between workplace burnout and emotional/uncontrolled eating habits. Published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the study showed that overweight and obese subjects who felt their efforts at work were not being valued were more likely to overeat while on the job. Although the tests were preliminary, not taking into account the participants' weight history or whether they had made significant weight loss changes before the study, researchers are thinking this may reveal more on the "medication-like" properties of food.
"What I find in a lot of people is that food is not the issue,” said Meagan Mohammadione, R.D., L.D., at the Emory Bariatric Center in Atlanta, who wasn’t involved in the study. “They’re not necessarily eating the food for a physiological reason, but they’re doing it for a psychological reason. It just happens that food is so readily available.” In order to have a clear idea of the emotional tie to food, men also need to be tested under the same variables. According to Mohammadione, while women tend to eat a lot when they're overwhelmed, men's emotional eating seems to be more tied to the perception that they need to finish everything on their plate. What isn’t debatable is the fact that we can help tackle those cravings at work by using our lunch breaks to exercise or bringing healthy snack options instead of running to vending machines.
Surprised by these findings? What other tactics can help curve the workplace munchies?