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Office snacking causes women to pile on over 6lbs – or a WHOLE dress size – a year (and men aren't much better)
13% of women of women scoff four snacks a day33% admit lying about the snacks they eat 48% say they're not satisfied after lunch
Emily Payne and Inderdeep Bains
12:13 GMT, 19 February 2013
01:53 GMT, 20 February 2013
If you’re thinking about reaching for another biscuit to get you through the working day, think again.
Eating unhealthy snacks at your desk makes you pile on almost half a stone a year, a survey has revealed.
The waistlines of women suffer the most, with the average female putting on 6lb 3oz – the equivalent of a whole dress size – while men see their weight increase by 5lb 2oz.
Treats brought in by colleagues are a common source of temptation, with reports saying we regularly eat at least two snacks a day
The report into our eating habits found that, on average, we eat at least two snacks a day, with 30 per cent of us tucking into three or more.
Women admit eating more than men, with a further 13 per cent of ladies scoffing four or more snacks a day.
The research, by The Village Bakery, found that eating the wrong things at lunch may mean we are continually drawn to unhealthy, calorific treats.
Biscuits are the most common vice, with 42 per cent regularly opening a pack, closely followed by chocolate (38 per cent), crisps (32 per cent) and cakes (13 per cent).
And office workers are worse than most.
Cakes and biscuits brought into work by colleagues are one of the main temptations office staff give in to.
In addition, 33 per cent admit reaching for nibbles to cope with stress and 22 per cent say they need a sugar rush to perk them up in the afternoon.
Simon Staddon, of The Village Bakery, said: 'We were aware time-poor office workers can find it difficult to easily access a nutritional lunch.
Afternoon pick-me-up: Stress and tiredness were cited as the main causes for overeating in the work place
'But we were really shocked by the extent to which 'quick fix' lunches are affecting weight gain and general wellbeing.
'Popular mid-afternoon pick-me-ups such biscuits, chocolate and cakes are high in calories, saturated fat and full of sugar, all of which affect your blood sugar levels and ultimately lead to weight gain.'
The survey of 2,000 British men and women suggests we are often ashamed of our unhealthy eating.
Twenty-four per cent of Britons admit lying about how many snacks they eat – with 33 per cent of women lying, compared to 20 per cent of men.
One in twenty office workers even said they hide the amount they eat to give colleagues the impression they're healthier than they are.
Unfortunately, it's not as if we are likely to do anything positive to counteract the sweet treats.
A fifth of women confess spending the evening regretting the day's calorie intake, twice as many as men.
And a mere six per cent of us do something healthy, such as go to the gym.
For one in ten, snacking during the day sparks an unhealthy domino effect – as they've already blown their diet, there's no point in eating healthily that evening either.
The report indicates that not eating a filling lunch could be the reason so many of us are drawn to sugary and fatty snacks.
Forty-eight per cent admit not feeling full or satisfied after lunch.
Office workers are most likely to get hungry again and snack more, with 35 per cent reaching for treats, compared to 14 per cent of non-office workers.
Nutritionist Dr Sarah Brewer said: 'If people ate a more fulfilling lunch in the first place, they'd feel satisfied for longer and wouldn't feel the need to reach for snacks.
'Not only would a change in the choice of lunch help prevent weight gain and an evening of regret, it could also help with energy levels and reduce symptoms such as bloating.'