Workers get a taste for eating at the desk

HERE S some food for thought which could have you absent-mindedly chewing on the end of your pencil as you ponder the contents of a press release which reached my work desk this week. It s the desk which is a central feature. Perhaps you believed that it

HERE'S some food for thought which could have you absent-mindedly chewing on the end of your pencil as you ponder the contents of a press release which reached my work desk this week.

It's the desk which is a central feature. Perhaps you believed that it has been groaning under the weight of all the extra work you have to do in these increased productivity days of ours.

But it is not paperwork we have to worry about. More and more, hard-pressed office workers are opting for quick and easy snacks to get them through the day, it appears.

No longer do they have the time for a hearty breakfast before setting off from home in the morning. Instead, researchers have come up with the fact that workers have a bowl of cereal at their desks 151 days out of the 240 worked each year (although I cannot say that there is much evidence of Kellogg crunching in my office).


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And the work time scoffing does not stop there; in fact, it is just getting going. The average person, I read, will eat 158 chocolate bars, 204 biscuits and 180 packets of crisps during 48 weeks, Monday to Friday.

Also going down the hatch will be 192 sweets, 131 cakes, doughnuts or pastries, and 274 cereal or biscuit bars. And all this lot will be washed down with 170 fizzy drinks and 428 cups of tea or coffee.

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Back to the grub. The average Brit will wolf down 128 instant snacks such as noodles in pots or cups of soup, and 117 savoury snacks (pretzels, popcorn, cheese straws and the like).

In all we munch our way through more than 2,000 snacks 'al desko' a year - a whopping 94,117 snacks over the average working lifetime of 44.5 years.

Does this information leave you licking your lips in anticipation or fill you with horror and make you determined - again - to go on a diet? While I click into the internet to find a plan suitable for me, I'll just pop a sweet from the office communal pot into my mouth. One won't hurt me.

One solution to the perils of eating at work is to not be in the office as much - absence makes the heart grow healthier if you like.

I must admit to agreeing with the 83 per cent of the population who said in a new survey that they think we deserve an extra bank holiday, this one dedicated to UK families. (I also think there should be one for St George's Day, but that's another story).

Why shouldn't we have more bank holidays? After all, we are trailing well behind the rest of Europe with only a miserly eight State-approved days off a year. Across the Channel, they get 11 in France, the same number in Italy and a generous 15 in Spain. I may not be much of a one to say good for the Continentals, but in this respect I have nothing but envy of them.

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