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"Colleagues Who Can Get You Fat"

March 17, 2012  

Five hours snowboarding in Colorado Rockies

I read a great article in the Wall Street Journal by Sue Shellenbarger titled, “Colleagues Who Can Get You Fat.” She tells us the stories of a few office workers who are diligently losing weight but are harassed by their co-workers. The article points out that 29% of workers who are attempting to eat responsibly are pressured by their colleagues to cheat on their diet. Here are three amazingly ignorant quotes some people were tempted with:

"Come on, one bite won't kill you."

"You can't avoid cake the rest of your life."

"You must try a brownie, I made them myself."

Why must we torture our fellow workers? Do we fear that they will lose weight and leave us to eat all the birthday cake?

One Human Resource Director came to the rescue of an employee by drawing an interesting analogy. She suggested that we wouldn't attempt to coax a colleague who is a recovering alcoholic to have just one small drink, so why do this to an overweight friend who is working so hard to lose weight?

Why does misery want company around they table?

The article goes on to point out how some companies are sponsoring weight loss competitions and rewarding employees. Other employees are taking matters into their own hands by organizing healthy group lunches of salads and fruit which, not surprisingly, have been met with much grumbling.

Workers who report the most success with weight loss also report the most supportive co-workers.

So leave the leftover birthday cake at home or better, in the trash, and bring in some apples and bananas if you find it necessary to feed your colleagues. And please remember, that one brownie...yes, it could really kill them.

Stay Active, My Friends