Snacking at work can add up to almost 1,300 calories a week, study says

NEW YORK — Sometimes, the best perks at work and meetings are the free food.

However, those tasty treats at work may also be adding some unwanted weight.

A study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that participants who obtained food from work, whether it be from vending machines, cafeterias or free food from common areas can add up to about 1,300 calories per week.

About 70 percent of those calories came from free food.

The study observed 5,222 employed adults in a seven-day period and found the most commonly obtained foods included beverages like coffee and regular soft drinks, sandwiches, cookies and brownies — all high empty calories, according to EurekAlert.

"Our results suggest that the foods people get from work do not align well with the recommendations in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans," said Stephen Onufrak, CDC epidemiologist.

A possible solution to all this? Worksite wellness efforts.

The study suggests workplaces can play a bigger role in helping employees get access to and promote healthier food options, including having water as a primary beverage aside from sodas and sugary drinks and ensuring foods at cafeterias and vending machines follow food service guidelines.