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Fight 'Al Desko Dining' with Nutritional Vending Machines

Fight 'Al Desko Dining' with Nutritional Vending Machines

A new term has been coined to describe the unhealthy eating habits workers in the Western world are prone to. 'Al Desko Dining' refers to the practice of spending the day eating unhealthy foods at one's desk. And according to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is a growing problem in a lot of places.

We appreciate the term 'Al Desko Dining' for its obvious implications. People who spend all day at their desks are prone to eating poorly because they don't have the time to be more nutritionally minded. But it doesn't have to be that way. Installing nutritional vending machines as an alternative to machines filled with fat-laden and empty-calorie foods is step in the right direction.

'Al Desko Dining' By the Numbers

The CDC studied the eating habits of 5,000 US workers in an attempt to discover just how serious the Al Desko Dining problem is. What they found was pretty surprising:

  • Just 25% of US workers get their lunch off site at least once per week
  • Some 60% eat their lunches at their desks, mainly while still working
  • Lunches tend to consist of foods high in fat and empty calories
  • Most of the unhealthy food is obtained by employees for free
  • The average worker consumes 1,300 calories per week at lunch.

The CDC study produced results similar to what a UK study showed last year. That study looked at the eating habits of more than 8,000 workers. It showed that people who routinely eat at their desks or in the office break room are more likely to be obese than those who don't.

What It All Means

We have to be careful not to conflate poor nutrition with the presence of traditional vending machines offering chocolates, soft drinks, etc. Why? Because people can always bring healthy foods from home. So what does all this mean? It means that in our drive to be as productive as possible, Western cultures have created an environment in which people would rather eat at their desks than take time away for a good lunch.

This tendency to eat while working automatically puts a limit on a person's nutritional choices. Eating at your desk requires already prepared foods that don't require heating, cooking, or any other sort of preparation. This tends toward eating take away or vending machine snacks.

We propose nutritional vending machines as one part of a larger solution. If we cannot encourage people to step away from their desks long enough to eat a healthy lunch, it's wise to at least give them nutritional vending options. Especially since regular consumption of healthy snacks might eventually motivate a person to reconsider all his or her eating habits.

It would appear as though Al Desko Dining is here to stay unless we change our general view of workplace production. Until that happens, we support the idea of helping workers make better choices via nutritional vending machines.


Daily Mail –

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