CAN WE HAVE OUR CAKE AND NOT EAT IT?

The anti-climax that is January is officially over and for many of us that means our tipsy resolutions have gone with the wintry wind too.

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Coming back to work after the Seasonal closedown the average office worker may be faced with those left-over tins of Quality Street or the packet of unopened shortbread. Even if they disappeared before the holiday the dismal weather and dark days tend to prompt us to compensate with cakes and other snacks. Now we enter February and next week we have that chocolate fest otherwise known as St. Valentine's.

Turning down the bit of birthday cake may be good for your waistline as well as your tooth enamel but it can leave a sour taste in the mouths of your work colleagues. So, it can be a bit of a nightmare trying to balance good diet with goodwill.

The Faculty of Dental Surgery (FDS), is currently tackling this issue of what they call the 'cake culture' in the workplace. The need to turn to the nearest sugar rush for a feel-good factor when work stresses get us down or equally common is the use of cakes by a manger to reward their team.

The U.K., as well as the rest of the developed world, is facing an obesity epidemic; with all that this implies for our general health as well as our teeth and gums. And research now shows the poor state of our mouth can have seriously detrimental effects on our hearts as well as increasing our susceptibility to diabetes.

Before we issue another collective groan at the 'nanny state', maybe we should remember the change in public perception and impact on good health with regard to smoking and banning smoking in pubs. Who would have believed, 20 years ago, that the day would shortly come when it would be quite normal not to go for a drink in a smoke-filled bar? The same goes for rewards for children. This writer well remembers being given sweets for good behaviour but schools became more creative when it came to reward-giving. Less sugar in the children's diet resulted in a reduction in caries as the result.

So change is possible; it's just a matter of being more creative in how we frame our rewards.

Image:
Pound cake... By Scheinwerfermann - Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4179330