No Fries for You! Health Dept. Workers Balk at New Rules

Agency issues new guidelines to reform department eating habits.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The health department has issued new guidelines to improve its employees' health.

    The city's Health Department is going on a diet. No deep-fried foods served at agency lunches. No cookies and cakes at the same time. And no beverages over 25 calories per ounce: Those are all part of the new health mandate issued to department employees in a little bright-colored brochure ahead of their move from Manhattan to Queens, according to a published report.

    The brochure requires that tap water be on the menu when food or drinks are served and suggests bagels or muffins be cut into halves or quarters to reduce the number of calories employees intake, reports the Daily News. Also, thinly sliced, whole-grain bread is a suggested offering at work events.

    Aside from the dietary rules, employees are required to adopt good personal and office hygiene habits, namely by avoiding wearing smelly products, eavesdropping and putting up signs co-workers may deem offensive, according to the new set of guidelines for "Life in the Cubicle Village" obtained by the News.  

    The updated guidelines come amid a massive city campaign to improve public health via lifestyle changes related to diet, exercise and non-smoking.

    While some health department employees complain the new rules verge on "micro-managing," the agency says the updated guidelines reflect the department's effort to practice what it preaches.

    "The Health Department is leading by example by updating its guidelines for food and beverages served at agency meetings and events," spokeswoman Erin Brady told the News.

    The agency begins its move today from its longtime headquarters in lower Manhattan to a new building in Long Island City. The department expects all of its nearly 3,000 workers to be settled in the new location within a few months.