Professor Nigel Hunt, dean of the faculty at the Royal College of Surgeons, said that sugary treats in the workplace is detrimental to employees’ health, and bosses should make a New Year’s resolution to combat ‘cake culture’ in 2017.
‘While these sweet treats might be well meaning, they are also contributing to the current obesity epidemic and poor oral health, Professor Hunt said.
‘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.’
Diet-related tooth decay
Indeed, Dr Sameer Patel from Elleven Dental has identified a 10% increase in clients visiting the practice for diet-related tooth decay, which is attributed to the regular snacks bought into their office.
‘Although treats can provide a boost to individuals in the workplace, employers should seriously consider the impact that regular sweet snacks can have on oral health’, commented Dr Patel.
‘The number of reasons for bringing in sugary foods such as returning from holiday or birthdays, is continuing to expand, and this regular consumption is causing havoc with our oral health.
‘Although the growing rates of obesity are regularly documented, many people neglect to consider the long-term effects that office cake culture can have on our teeth.
‘Frequent consumption of these treats in the office over a prolonged period can contribute to dental decay and a build-up of plaque in the mouth.
‘To minimise the chances of dental damage, advise patients to limit snacking in the office to isolated times and if possible, only consume these sugary snacks after meal times to prevent throughout-the-day exposure.
‘For those that cannot cut these treats out altogether, I recommend chewing sugarless gum after consumption and drinking lots of water to keep your mouth hydrated throughout the day.’
Sugar reduction tips
The Faculty of Dental Surgery has come up with a number of tips to help workers lessen their consumption of sugar in the workplace:
- Consider low-sugar alternatives
- Reduce portion sizes
- Avoid snacking and keep sugar as a lunchtime treat
- Keep a ‘sugar schedule’ to limit sugar intake
- Keep sugary treats out of your eye line.