The End of Cake in the Office? British Dentists Want to Stop Tradition

Dentists in Great Britain are pushing for a change to this tradition and are calling for an end to “workplace cake culture.”

It’s a common tradition that’s apparently shared by people worldwide: Having cake, or other sweet treats, to celebrate events and milestones at the office. However, dentists in Great Britain are pushing for a change to this tradition and are calling for an end to “workplace cake culture.” In light of the current health problems affecting citizens of the United States, this call to action could take root right here at home.

In an article published by BBC News, Professor Nigel Hunt, dean of faculty at the Royal College of Surgeons, said that office parties involving lots of sweets could be the result of managers wanting to reward staff, colleagues celebrating the holidays or other life events, and people bringing presents into the office, especially after the New Year. However, Hunt also noted that such treats are ultimately detrimental to employees’ health, suggesting that offices country-wide make a New Year’s resolution to fight cake culture in 2017.

“While these sweet treats might be well meaning, they are also contributing to the current obesity epidemic and poor oral health,” said Hunt. He also added, “We need a culture change in offices and other workplaces that encourages healthy eating and helps workers avoid caving in to sweet temptations such as cakes, sweets and biscuits."

Unsurprisingly, there has already been pushback from people who want their cake and want to eat it too. British citizens have said that there’s nothing wrong with a little cake, that some cake occasionally won’t kill anybody, and that this call from dentists is an example of the “nanny state” trying to shape citizens’ lives when it isn’t necessary.

The Faculty of Dental Surgery has released a list of suggestions for cutting sugar out of the workplace, including:

· Considering low-sugar options

· Reducing portion sizes

· Avoiding snacks and keeping sugar as a lunchtime treat

· Establishing a “sugar schedule” to keep track of and limit intake

· Hide sweet treats to reduce consumption

This call to action isn’t the first step in the fight against excessive sugar consumption. In addition to dentist’s recommendations, the government of England plans to begin charging a fee to makers and importers of soft drinks containing more than a set amount of sugar in 2018. Similar taxes on sugary drinks have already been adopted by several cities across the United States. Indeed, support for sugar-limiting measures is increasing worldwide as rates of obesity hit epidemic proportions in both children and adults.