America’s eating trends are changing and as they do, the three meal a day trend of breakfast, lunch and dinner is quickly being replaced by a new trend:
Breakfast. Snack. Lunch. Snack. Snack. Dinner. Snack. Snack. Snack.
A recent study performed by Salk Institute and published in Cell Metabolism asked 150 San Diego men and women to record what they ate each day by taking pictures of their “meals” and recording them using a mobile app.
Here’s what the study revealed:
• Many consumers ate over larger time spans than they thought
• Over half of the participants ate over a 15 hour time period
• Less than 25% of calories consumed came before noon
• More than 35% of calories consumed came after 6pm
• Overweight participants who were accustomed to eating over 14 hours a day, reported reduced body weight by 3.5%, increased energy and improved sleep by reducing consumption time between 10 and 11 hours
The study also showed that continuously eating resulted in a “metabolic jetlag,” similar to what one might experience after traveling between time zones.
So what does this mean for you and your New York business?
The Department of Labor has determined that the average workday and/or time spent on work related activities is 8.7 hours a day (which means work takes over 1/3 of the average American’s day). If the study’s findings are correct then that means a good portion of your workforce is snacking on a continual basis and potentially feeling sluggish because of it.
In a Google world where more and more companies are providing snacks on campus how do you compete with the trend while also making sure the benefit is a benefit to your employees’ stomach without being a hindrance to their productivity?
Here are a few ideas:
• If providing vending machines on campus – make sure your New York vending provider is offering a large variety of healthy snacks including trail mixes, low fat granola bars and nuts
• If giving away snacks and beverages at no charge – work with your New York vendor to create a menu that offers variety but substance. Think protein.
• Regardless of what type of snack program you offer educate New York employees on snacking. Maybe even encourage them to track their snacking habits via their smart phone for a few days. They may find that they are snacking more often than they think and over a longer time period than they thought. If so, some ways to help get over the “jet lag” may be to:
Reduce your snacking window. If you ate over 15 hours cut down to 11
o Eat on a Schedule – some studies suggest that timing when you eat and sticking to a routine can reduce weight and increase muscle mass regardless of what it is you’re snacking on
o Change the snacks you consume
Walnuts instead of potato chips – will take care of the oil craving and the crunch
Low fat yogurt or dried fruit instead of candy if you’re craving something sweet
Want more crunchy? – Consider celery, carrot sticks or whole wheat crackers
In short, we’re not recommending that you get rid of your snack program (it’s a benefit for a reason) but maybe it’s time to revamp it, switch up your menus and help your employees create a better snacking routine. Call Champion Vending today for a free no-obligation consultation of your break room at (800) 558-5450.