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Want to bypass ‘food altars’ at work? Drink water, researchers say

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Davis, CA – Drinking more water at work may help you avoid the temptations of “food altars” such as birthday cake, donuts or other junk food placed in common areas, according to researchers at the University of California, Davis.

For their study, the researchers interviewed 20 women and five men between the ages of 30 to 69 who were administrative workers at the university. Participants recorded where and what they ate the previous day, and described the food’s “goodness” and “healthiness.”

Results showed that "altars" of junk food contributed to most of the “unplanned and unhealthful eating decisions in the working day.” However, drinking water was an answer for many of the study participants, providing “a sense of control” among the unplanned offerings of food.

The researchers tout water’s additional benefits of hydration and encouraging movement within the workplace, noting that even study participants who did not drink water at home drank it at work because it was available and easily accessible.

“For the workers placed in a vortex of unpredictability, the water bottle provides stability,” the report states.

The study was published online June 2 in Food, Culture & Society: An International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research.

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