In research released this week by a rice cake brand (already suspicious), apparently working women snack on average three times a day, and it turns out we’re not just reaching for carrot sticks, or rice cakes for that matter…

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Can’t resist a midday crisp or ten (twenty)? According to one rice cake manufacturer, you’re not alone. 45 per cent of us have a personal crisp supply at work, and we reach for them, and other similarly less than wholesome snacks, at regular intervals. 10:30am and 3:30pm are our preferred snacking windows, but anything from stress to boredom to a sudden onset of fatigue can signal lady snack time. To be honest, writing this very article is edging me closer to my chocolate drawer.

The brand in question surveyed 1000 women about their office eating habits, and it turns out that yes, what a shocker, we like a biscuit or two during a hectic working day (39 per cent of us “hide” biscuits away), and let’s be real, we suspect/ know for a fact that Nigel from accounts does too, but no one asked him, because guilt snacking and buying rice cakes to make us feel less regretful is a woman's lot. The survey revealed that 25 per cent of women feel bad about said snacking, while 21 per cent of women apparently have zero willpower in the face of a family bag of Wotsits or similar, particularly if they’re offered up by someone else (one in seven women blame office feeders for causing them to overeat). Again, we suspect that Wayne in IT is ploughing into the Prawn Cocktails, but no one’s worried about him and his guilt/ willpower/ workday dietary “fails”.

Obviously if you need a fairy cake or five just to get through the day, you’re not living your healthiest life, and you should probably look for a new job, but the focus just on women’s office junk food weaknesses and apparent subsequent feelings of worthlessness is a bit frustrating and perpetuates the idea that women are the “naughty” ones and should be ashamed of their snacking vices. A survey on all humans would likely be more informative and give us a bigger picture of UK snacking habits overall, at which point we can all swap the biscuits for rice cakes, perhaps, or simply consider that we’re possibly comfort eating as a nation and may not need a river of mocha choca lattes, 90 slices of cake and 90 packets of sweets a year to “keep us going”.

Some nutritional experts advocate removing snacks from our diets in general , but the truth is that, when hungry, many of us do in fact reach for healthy snacks over the less saintly stuff- this survey indicated that 47 per cent of us snack on fruit, and as many of us choose actual nuts as we do doughnuts, so there’s that. Plus, thankfully, 30 per cent of women chose the “life’s too short to worry” option when asked how they felt about occasional snacking at work, which is just as it should be. There will be days when we eat cake, and days when we don’t, and as long as we’ve struck a healthy balance between the two alongside making time for movement and actual meals away from our desks, there’s no need to panic and bulk buy rice cakes to fill your cake hole. Although, obviously, if you like rice cakes, go right ahead. Everything in moderation, including moderation, and that goes for all of us, not just working women. Perhaps we’re tucking into all of those garibaldis to fill the void in  the still gaping pay gap ?

If you’re snacking because you’re genuinely hungry, ALL THE TIME, this might help

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