Americans spend almost half of their waking hours at work. For too many of us, much of that time is spent sitting in a chair. And when we leave our desk to go to a meeting or conference (to another chair, naturally), our thoughtful meeting host might be kind enough to put out some snacks or provide a meal. Croissants and donuts for a morning meeting, say, or white bread sandwiches with potato chips and a soda at a workplace lunch. Not exactly brain food.
The sad fact is that our sedentary and snack-filled workplaces help pack on the pounds and contribute to diabetes, heart disease, and other health problems.
We at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, in partnership with the National Alliance for Nutrition and Activity, a 440-member-organization coalition, thought it would be useful to provide a toolkit for healthier meetings and events.
What follows are some of the toolkit's healthier substitutions for the meals, drinks, and snacks typically made available at workplace meetings and conferences. We hope to use this toolkit to convince HR directors, caterers, hotel chains, event planners, and some of our gracious bosses that it's easy to put together a satisfying and delicious meal or snack that won't undermine the health of their employees and guests.