Why Healthy Work Lunches Are Scarce

Why Healthy Work Lunches Are Scarce

If your typical work lunch consists of whatever you pull out from the depths of your office desk drawer, a new survey suggests you aren’t the only one.

The survey polled more than 900 U.S. adults who typically eat lunch during work hours. Of the participants, 56% said they struggled to have a healthy lunch at work; 77% said they’d be more inclined to make healthier food choices throughout the day if they had a healthy lunch.

“The good news is most people said they are interested in doing better when it comes to healthy eating,” said Dr. Anne Thorndike, vice chair of the nutrition committee at the American Heart Association (AHA).


“The finding that healthier food choices at work may impact food choices throughout the rest of the day presents a unique opportunity for the workplace to have a positive influence on not only the employee’s health but also the health of the employee’s family.”

An overwhelming 91% of respondents said they’d be very open to having a healthy workday lunch, with those under 40 more receptive to the idea than those over that age (65% vs. 55%).The survey also found that 82% of respondents said that having healthy food options at work is important to them, while 68% value help from their employer in becoming healthier.

Related: The Best Lunches for a Productive Work Day

We can all relate to stressful work days, and on such occasions, 35% of respondents said their lunch is unhealthy than other easy-going days. This trend was more common in women than men (40% vs. 32%).

Limited availability of healthy food options played a significant role in workplace diets –  44% claimed this was the reason for their unhealthy lunches; an even higher percentage (60%) cited convenience (60%) and taste preference (54%) as other major factor.

The Harris Poll survey was released by the American Heart Association and Aramark, the U.S.-based food service company.

Photo Credit: Dalaifood/Shutterstock.com; p_ponomareva/Shutterstock.com

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