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The Office Candy Bowl Problem

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    It seems innocuous enough, the bowl of candy a co-worker sets out on her desk and refills each day. It's an invitation for the office to dip in, a sweet gesture.

    But for a person who is trying to lose weight or limit their sugar intake, the office candy bowl could spell doom.

    The Wall Street Journal cites research showing the concrete effects of having a candy bowl in the office: In one four-week study of 40 secretaries, participants ate 2.5 more pieces of chocolate when the candy was displayed in a clear, covered dish. That was in addition to the 3.1 candies they would have eaten if the candy had been in an opaque container. And when the dish was moved closer to the subject, another 2.1 candies were consumed.

    "The proximity and visibility of a food can consistently increase an adult's consumption," the study said.

    Some people WSJ spoke to having found strategies to avoid succumbing to the office candy bowl, like avoiding it altogether, or planning nutritious snacks to inhibit the craving for sweets. One office worker said he asked anyone filling an office candy dish to also offer sugar-free candy and gum.

    How do you work around -- or avoid altogether -- the candy bowl in your office?