Snacking late at night 'has negative impact on performance at work'

·1-min read

Snacking on junk food late at night has a negative impact on a person's performance at work the next day, a new study has found.

Researchers at North Carolina State University discovered a link between unhealthy eating at night and people's ability at work, and said their study has shown "for the first time" that healthy eating affects workplace behaviour.

More than 90 full-time employees in the U.S. participated in the research, and answered a series of questions three times a day for 10 consecutive workdays, being quizzed on their physical and emotional wellbeing, as well as their eating habits.

The researchers found that when people ate unhealthily late at night, they were more likely to report suffering from physical problems the following day, with conditions including headaches, stomach-aches and diarrhoea.

They were also more likely to be suffering from emotional wellbeing issues, with reports of feelings of guilt or shame about their food choices.

These findings were directly related to changes in people's behaviour at work the following day, and employees were more withdrawn in the workplace, and less inclined to help their colleagues.

"The big takeaway here is that we now know unhealthy eating can have almost immediate effects on workplace performance. Companies can help to address healthy eating by paying more attention to the dietary needs and preferences of their employees and helping to address those needs, such as through on-site dining options," study co-author Seonghee 'Sophia' Cho explained.

"This can affect both the physical and mental health of their employees – and, by extension, their on-the-job performance," she added.