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Four people affected from dengue in Peshawar

F.P. Report

PESHAWAR: Around four people have been affected due to Dengue virus in Peshawar, Dengue response unit reported.

According to Dengue Response Unit Zar Wali son of Hashim Ali resident of Achene area Peshawar was brought to Khyber Teaching Hospital where his blood sample declared positive for dengue virus.

The report further said that when the DRU team visits the affected area there were three other people were also affected from dengue. The DRU team found dengue larva in the area and did spray to eliminate the virus from the area. The team requested the people of the area to take extra precautionary measures.

It merit mention here that this year around 22 dengue cases were reported from the province in which four cases of dengue were from Peshawar.



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Keeping the same doctor could help you live longer

Monitoring Desk

NEW YORK: Those of you who have been seeing the same doctor over the years might be in luck — new research out of the U.K. suggests that visiting the same physician over time could save your life.

In other words, if you want to live a long and healthy life but don’t have a general physician, now might be a good time for you to find a doctor you can stick with.

The review by researchers at St. Leonard’s Practice in Exeter and the University of Exeter Medical School was published last month in BMJ Open. It’s the first of its kind to look at the relationship between death rates and “continuity of care,” which these researchers defined as the repeated contact between a person and his or her doctor.

The researchers took a look at 22 studies from 9 countries, each with different health systems. Out of these, 18 studies found that regular contact with the same doctor resulted in fewer deaths over the study period.

Lead author, Dr. Denis Pereira Gray, a professor emeritus at the University of Exeter, told Healthline that the researchers were “pleased but not surprised” to find that 82 percent of the 22 eligible studies showed this positive link between continuity of care and lower death rates. He said that the team out of Exeter wanted to further direct a spotlight on the benefits that can come from seeing the same doctor over time.

He added that these benefits extend from the doctor’s office to the healthcare system as a whole, such as improved patient satisfaction, the development of improved patient trust in family physicians, and lowered health system costs.

“What we found, which was more surprising, was that continuity is related to reduced death rates not only for family physicians but for medical specialists, too, including surgeons and psychiatrists,” he said.

Gray, the former president of the Royal College of General Practitioners and the former chairman of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, stressed that people might disclose important information more freely with doctors they know and trust. On the flip side, doctors who have this kind of relationship with their patients are more likely to make better-informed and “personally tailored advice and recommendations.”

A 2001 study in Family Medicine looked at continuity of care and trust in physicians in both the U.S. and across the pond in the U.K. Of the 418 U.S. adults and 650 U.K. adults surveyed, 92.4 percent of the Americans valued seeing the same doctor over time. St. Leonard’s Practice was part of that research and Gray said it showed that “longer continuity” of family physician care led to greater trust between a person and their doctor.

While trust might be high in someone who maintains a lasting relationship with their doctor, it unfortunately isn’t very common in the United States for people to even see a doctor.

Data released by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation in 2016 shows that 21.9 percent of adults in the United States report that they don’t even have a personal doctor. The foundation also has data from 2014 that shows that 34 percent of American adults reported not even having seen or talked to a doctor over the past year.

“I can’t overestimate the importance of the relationship between the patient and their primary care doc,” said Dr. David Brill, who practices family medicine at Cleveland Clinic. “What we are rediscovering in the U.S. is that the best and most cost-effective medicine is what they practiced from 1910 to 1970: Patients had a relationship with their family doc.”

Brill, who is not affiliated with this research, told Healthline that this patient-doctor bond is important to nurture because a person is then comfortable with the prescribed “treatment path and results” when “serious or even not so serious” conversations come up in the doctor’s office.

“If someone with chest pains goes to a different doctor every time he has the chest pain, each physician is practically obligated to do a full, probably worthless and expensive cardiac workup, which will satisfy no one involved,” Brill explained. “But if that same patient goes to a doctor that he knows and that knows his family, the doctor will use history — both the patient’s and the patient’s family — to individualize the workup.”

Brill said he has an emotional connection to this traditional style of healthcare — his father was a general physician who based his practice out of their family home for nearly half his career. He added that while shared electronic medical records can help maintain continuity of care, “nothing beats the trust between the patient and the doctor to calm someone down.”

“I’ve even had situations in which I’ve taken care of a newborn and can remember the baby’s mother had the same intestinal issues when she was a baby,” he added. “Just letting her know that immediately calmed her down.”

Gray suggested that a rise of technological advancements in medical care has reduced some people’s awareness of the importance of maintaining this relationship with their doctors.

“The value of continuity has been reduced through all the emphasis on new machines and technology, and many policymakers and doctors are unaware of just how powerful the research on continuity now is,” he said.

Moving forward, Gray said he would like to see more studies looking at this link between mortality and seeing the same physician throughout a person’s life.

“The huge response to our article is encouraging,” Gray added. “Many patients and doctors do understand the value of the human side of medicine.”

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Committed to eradicate polio virus to protect children

F.P. Report

KARACHI: Commissioner Karachi Muhammad Sualeh Ahmad Faruqui has said that government is committed to eradicate the polio virus and for the purpose making all out coordinated efforts on priority bases  to make Pakistan polio free country. and to protect our children from this  crippled disease.

He said this while talking to the delegation of Independent Monitory Board of the Global Polio Initiative Mission, an international partner which is visiting Pakistan to review the progress for the polio eradication efforts and activities in Pakistan.

Commissioner told that there is no new case of polio in Karachi and Sindh this year. He further said that all stake holders were working with great responsibility and dedication   in the city of Karachi to contribute the efforts to make Pakistan polio free country. He appreciated the role of international partners also and hoped soon they will be able to achieve the goal of elimination of polio virus from Pakistan to stand with the world community which has already achieved this goal to make world polio free.

Commissioner highlighting the issues confronting to the efforts being made for the elimination of polio virus said that they are attempting the mobile population where missing and refusal children numbers are observed high. It has been examined that they   are concentrated in  some polio related high risk union councils out of 188 of the union councils of the city.

It has also been examined that the people reacting  negatively to the vaccine largely lie in slums areas  where  health services and civic services needed to be improved. He said there is massive movement of population into and within Karachi particularly in these high risk union councils.

He said city administration has taken special steps to get administer polio drops to  all those children coming from other parts through massive campaign at the entry points of the city  where special polio teams have been deputed to work 24 hours including at the bus stops, railway stations and airport.

He said he has also started consultation with the concerned departments and NGOs in this regard with request to provide them better health facilities and to provide other civic facilities and make special arrangements for supplying clean water. He said he also has   discussed the matter with the partner Rotary International. Rotary has assured they would start a project for providing clean in a month, he added.

The Independent Monitoring Board Mission appreciated the efforts of the government to eliminate the polio virus. They said Pakistan is on right trajectory to eradicate polio from the country by maintaining intense pressure of the crippling Polio virus.

They briefed about their activities in Karachi to the Commissioner  and told them they have visited some of the high risk areas  where there is a problem of missed children and there are problems of refusal  and those areas where  people reacting to welcome the polio teams . They visited   Baldia, SITE, Mochko of district West and specially Gujro , in Gulshan-Iqbal District East , the delegation informed the commissioner.

Those who attended the meeting among others were  IMB Mission members Dr. Navid Sadozai and Ms. Christine Athelie Commissioner Karachi Polio Task Force Coordinator Dr Nusrat Ali, and representative of Bill Gates and Foundation Dr. Ahmed Ali Shaikh.



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Beetle can be helpful in cancer treatment

Monitoring Desk

IZMIR: The poison of Paederus beetle will be a “ray of hope” for cancer treatment, a Turkish associate professor told Anadolu Agency.

“It [poison] shows an adverse effect to cancer cells.

Both our team and the colleagues that we work together abroad, are working on this poison.

During the study it was found out that the life of mice with various cancer tumors was extended after this substance was given to them.

This beetle will be a ray of hope for cancer treatment,” Professor Sinan Anlas said.

A group of academics from Turkey”s Manisa Celal Bayar University,supported by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK), for the past three years have been working on a project that studies the effect of beetles on agriculture, ecology and medicine.

Anlas said the Paederus beetle weighs about four milligrams and one gram of pederin poison is obtained from four kilograms of Paederus beetle.

“First findings are extremely promising.

Our studies are new but we know that many vital treatment methods and medicines will be procured for cancer treatment.

We will produce projects in the future,” he added. (AA)


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Nuts could boost male fertility

PARIS (AFP): Eating nuts “significantly” boosted the number and health of sperm in young men in a scientific trial, researchers said Wednesday.

The findings “support a beneficial role for chronic nut consumption in sperm quality,” they said, but stressed the study participants were all healthy, apparently fertile men.

The potential benefits of nuts for men struggling with fertility have yet to be probed. For the study, researchers’ recruited 119 men aged 18-35, who they divided into two groups.

One group ate 60 grams of almonds, hazelnuts, and walnuts daily on top of their usual “western-style” diet, while the second group got no nuts.

After 14 weeks, the nut group “had significant improvements in their sperm count, vitality, motility (movement) and morphology (shape)” — all associated with male fertility, said a statement.

“Moreover, the subjects in the nut group also showed a significant reduction in their levels of sperm DNA fragmentation, a parameter closely associated with male infertility.”

The results were consistent with sperm improvement observed in other studies that looked at diets rich in omega-3, antioxidants such as vitamin C and E, selenium and zinc, and folate.

Nuts are rich in many of these nutrients.

The study results were presented at a meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Barcelona. Does this mean that men hoping to conceive a child should add nuts to their diet?

“We can’t yet say that,” said study co-author Albert Salas-Huetos of the Rovira i Virgili University in Spain.

“But evidence is accumulating in the literature that healthy lifestyle changes such as following a healthy dietary pattern might help conception — and of course, nuts are a key component of a Mediterranean healthy diet.”

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Coffee to increase teamwork

Monitoring Desk

Coffee is known to keep us more alert and focused, so many of us use it to boost our energy levels and productivity. However, it turns out that this popular stimulant may help to sustain not only individual effort, but also constructive interaction within a team.

A new study suggests that a little coffee could help to boost teamwork.

I count myself lucky to work with Medical News Today; I work alongside colleagues who share my love of coffee.

Our coffee pot is almost always full, and, within healthful limits, we refill our cups regularly.

And now, it seems that the top-notch teamwork that we’re so proud of may, at least in part, be fuelled by our appreciation of coffee.

This is not just because we automatically bond over a steaming mug of coffee, either.

As the results of a new study, led by researchers at Ohio State University (OSU) in Columbus and published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, suggest, individuals who drink a cup of coffee before engaging in a team task engage more constructively with peers.

Amit Singh and colleagues at OSU conducted two related experiments to see how coffee affects the way in which people in a team relate to each other, as well as how they perform during team-based tasks.

For the first experiment, the researchers recruited 72 coffee-loving undergraduate students, all of whom were given strict instructions not to consume any caffeinated beverages before this task.

The participants were told that this would be, primarily, a coffee-tasting experiment. They were all randomly split into groups of five individuals.

Half were offered a cup of coffee (12 ounces of coffee containing approximately 270 milligrams of caffeine) and asked to rate the taste, after which they were assigned “filler” activities for about 30 minutes, while the caffeine took effect.

Three to four cups of coffee per day slash disease risk

Then, controversial discussion topics were assigned to all the groups of participants, in which they were instructed to participate for 15 minutes.

Half of the participants were offered coffee only after this task, to compare their engagement with that of peers who worked under the influence of caffeine.

At the end of the group discussions, they were all asked to evaluate other group members’, as well as their own, contributions.

The researchers found that the participants who had drunk coffee before engaging in the group discussion tended to rate both their own, as well as their team members’, performance more positively than the individuals who were only allowed to have coffee after this task.

In the second experiment, the researchers tweaked the conditions. This time, they worked with 61 participants — all undergraduate students — who were all offered coffee at the beginning of the task.

Half of them drank caffeinated coffee (a 12-ounce drink with 270 milligrams of caffeine), while the other half were given decaf (a 12-ounce brew with no more than 3–5 milligrams of caffeine).

Once more, the students were split into small groups and asked to discuss a controversial topic. And again, after the task, they had to rate their own and their team members’ performance.

The experiment confirmed the previous results: the participants who had drunk caffeinated coffee tended to evaluate themselves and others more positively.

But why does this happen? The increased levels of alertness that caffeinated drinks bring about may have something to do with it, the study authors hypothesize.

After the experiment, all participants were also asked to report how alert they felt, and those who had ingested caffeine felt themselves to be more energetic than the students who ended up drinking decaf brews.

“Not surprisingly, people who drank caffeinated coffee tended to be more alert,” observes Singh.

So, the scientists concluded that it may be caffeine-related alertness that makes people feel more positive about themselves and others in a group setting.

“We suspect that when people are more alert they see themselves and the other group members contributing more, and that gives them a more positive attitude,” says Singh.

The findings intrigued the researchers, who now ask themselves whether other stimulant activities, such as exercise, could lead to the same effects. They are interested in exploring this possibility in future studies.

However, the findings did not only focus on the participants’ perception of individual performance in a group task; it also looked at their ability to stay on point during the activity.

As it turns out, the volunteers who had drunk regular coffee prior to participation tended to talk more, but they were also more focused on their given topic of discussion and did not ramble as much as participants who had not ingested caffeine.

“They’re talking about more relevant things after drinking caffeinated coffee,” states Singh. Take that, alongside the fact that coffee also made everyone feel more positive about everyone else’s contribution, and coffee seems to work as a good teamwork enhancer.

“Even though [the caffeinated coffee-drinking participants] are talking more, [both] agreeing and disagreeing, they still want to work [together] again,” Singh notes.

This is because the study volunteers who drank non-decaf coffee reported being willing to work with their group again, despite any differences of opinion.

“[W]e believe that we have an interesting set of findings with respect to how a group performs in a task that requires the exchange of ideas between people when the participants have caffeine in their system vs. not,” the researchers conclude.


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Air pollution increases risk of diabetes

PARIS (AFP): Air pollution caused one in seven new cases of diabetes in 2016, according to a US study, which found even low levels raised the chances of developing the chronic disease.

Diabetes has primarily been associated with lifestyle factors like diet and a sedentary lifestyle, but research by the Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis said pollution also plays a major role.

The study estimated that pollution contributed to 3.2 million new diabetes cases globally in 2016 — or around 14 per cent of all new diabetes cases globally that year.

“Our research shows a significant link between air pollution and diabetes globally,” said Ziyad Al-Aly, the study’s senior author.

Pollution is thought to reduce the body’s insulin production, “preventing the body from converting blood glucose into energy that the body needs to maintain health,” according to the research.

Al-Aly said the research, published in the Lancet Planetary Health, found an increased risk even with levels of air pollution currently considered safe by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

“This is important because many industry lobbying groups argue that current levels are too stringent and should be relaxed. Evidence shows that current levels are still not sufficiently safe and need to be tightened,” he added.

Researchers working with scientists at the Veterans Affairs’ Clinical Epidemiology Center, examined data from 1.7 million US veterans who did not have histories of diabetes and were followed for a median of 8.5 years.

Patient information from the veterans was compared to air quality information to examine the relationship between pollution and diabetes risk.

The scientists found the risk of developing diabetes “exhibited a strong link to air pollution”.

They then devised a model to gauge diabetes risks over different pollution levels and used data from the annual worldwide Global Burden of Disease study, to estimate the prevalence of diabetes caused by bad air.

Diabetes affects more than 420 million people globally and is one of the world´s fastest growing diseases.

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Anti-polio drive in Tribal districts and Sub-divisions launches

Ahmad Nabi

LANDI KOTAL: Special three days anti polio campaign in selected tribal districts and sub-divisions started from Monday (Today) on July 2, 2018, under the supervision and security provided by Commissioners, Deputy Commissioners, Health Officials and Security Agencies.

As per the press release issued by the Emergency Operations Center(EOC) Tribal Districts and sub-divisions the three days anti polio campaign would be the first campaign launched after KP-FATA merger which would continue from July 2, 2018 to July 4, 2018, followed by catch up of missed children and surveillance in all the Tribal Districts and Subdivisions except Orakzai and Kurram.

Total of 837221 children below the age of 5 years will be vaccinated with oral polio vaccine by 3771 teams, comprising 3497 mobile teams, 192 fixed teams’ and 82 transit teams.

Coordinator Tribal Districts and Subdivisions Mahmood Aslam Khan said “we are about to cover the last mile and inches away from polio eradication which needs unprecedented labors, zeal and commitment of field workers and broader support from parents and caregivers”.

He said “Tribal Districts and Subdivisions are achieving the highest level of performance and incredible progress has been made during past couple of years but rooting out polio from the region would only be possible with continued efforts of field worker, partners, administration and security agencies as demonstrated in past years”.

He advised EOC Team to focus on vaccinating persistently missed children and especially children on the move.

He emphasized that “high risk mobile population and particularly target mobile population crossing borders should be focused and every child must be immunized”.

It is to be mentioned here that the Tribal Districts and Subdivisions are without a confirmed polio case for the last 23 months and the last polio case in the region was reported on July 27th, 2016 from District South Waziristan.

In a recently concluded Technical Advisory Group (TAG) Meeting high level international experts have highly appreciated the performance of Tribal Regions and Sub-divisions, particularly the innovation brought out by Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and District Polio Control Room (DPCRs) for reaching every child.

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Coffee might be helpful in protecting your liver

Monitoring Desk

When you have your morning coffee, you might be doing more than just giving yourself a boost to start your day — you could also be keeping your liver healthy. New research presented earlier this month at the American Society for Nutrition’s annual meeting in Boston suggests that coffee lovers might have a lower risk of liver disease compared to those who forego drinking a regular cup of joe.

A research team led by Emily Hu, doctoral student at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, analyzed data on 14,208 people between the ages of 45 and 64 who had been part of the national Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study. This study looked at the presence of atherosclerosis — a disease in which plaque builds up in your arteries — among people in the United States.

Over a 26-year period, these people all filled out questionnaires on what foods they consumed, including coffee. Hu and her team zeroed in on those who said they drank coffee and cross-referenced them, using hospital discharge records and death certificates, with people in the study who experienced liver-related hospitalizations and death.

What they found is good news for coffee fans: People who drank three or more cups a day had a 21 percent lower chance of being hospitalized for a liver-related illness.

“It was a really great experience to present this research and it was quite surprising how much interest there was in this research,” Hu told Healthline. “Everyone who loves coffee was delighted to hear these results.”

Hu said that the ARIC study presented a rich cross-section of Americans, surveying communities in four states — North Carolina, Mississippi, Minnesota, and Maryland.

“Others have said it would not be surprising that coffee may be protective of liver disease and that it may be beneficial for the liver,” she added. “One thing that was interesting was that this cohort presented a mix of characteristics of those who were drinking coffee. Some were current smokers. People who drink high amounts of coffee are more likely to be current smokers and are more likely to drink alcohol.”

She explained that coffee’s ties to liver health weren’t diminished even when other factors like bad diets or smoking were taken into account. The average person in the survey drank a little less than two 8-ounce cups per day.

Dr. Jamile Wakim-Fleming, a gastroenterologist at Cleveland Clinic, said that the results of this study are consistent with past research on coffee being tied to lower risk for liver disease.

She did caution, however, that people avoid adding too much sugar or cream — or at least doing it in moderation — to avoid risks to your heart. This means keeping those calorie-bursting Starbucks Frappuccinos to a minimum.

“I do tell my patients to drink coffee if they want, it does specifically help those who had evidence of alcoholic liver disease,” Wakim-Fleming told Healthline. “But one should note that they can’t continue to drink alcohol if they want to improve their liver disease, even if they drink coffee.”

She added that coffee isn’t a magic cure for liver disease and that people need to be mindful of underlying reasons for liver disease like alcohol consumption.

The new study is certainly not the first to point to the health benefits of coffee. A 2017 review of 201 studies found that coffee, in general, was associated more with health benefits than harm. The authors found that coffee consumption presented a lower risk of everything from heart disease and cancer, to neurological, metabolic, and, yes, liver conditions.

Coffee is hugely popular in the United States. About 54 percent of people over 18 in the United States drink coffee every day, according to the Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Over time, opinions on just how healthy coffee is have veered from negative to positive. Back in 1991, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) — the cancer research arm of the World Health Organization — identified coffee as a possible carcinogen, looking at studies that tied the caffeinated drink to bladder cancer.

Flash forward to a 2016 report in The Lancet Oncology and the IARC changed its tune on coffee. It dropped coffee from its list of possible causes for cancer, saying it was no longer possible to say that coffee caused the disease, the American Cancer Society reports.

Hu and her team recently submitted their research for journal review. She said that at the conference in Boston people kept coming up to her asking how much coffee they should be drinking.

“I want to clarify for people who are asking that even though we found this association that adds to the evidence that coffee could be beneficial for people’s health and that it is definitely not harmful, if they are not drinking coffee that is okay,” Hu said. “They can get health benefits from other foods in their diet. They don’t need to worry. For those who are drinking coffee, it is fine to continue drinking coffee guilt-free.”




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Workplace treats can add extra calories

Monitoring Desk

Do you like noshing on the job? The food you eat at work whether it’s at the cafeteria, from a vending machine, or in the break room, probably isn’t healthy for you. And those extra calories can add up.

A study of 5,222 workers in the United States found that the foods we eat at work include high amounts of refined grains and sodium and not enough whole grains or fruit.

Stephen Onufrak, an epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said it’s the first study to look at the food people consume at work.

“The foods people get from work don’t align well with the recommendations in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans,” he said. Onufrak presented the study results at the American Society for Nutrition annual meeting this month in Boston.

According to the research, about a quarter of study participants got food from work at least once per week. The average calories of those foods were nearly 1,300 per week. More than 70 percent of the calories came from free food: leftover birthday cake in the break room, holiday cookies, or other treats.

“With employees spending eight hours a day on average at their place of employment, a lot of people may not be aware of all of the calories they get from food at work, especially from foods they get for free,” Diane Harris, another CDC researcher and study author, told Healthline. “Americans should be concerned because good nutrition is essential to keeping current and future generations healthy.”

Harris noted that seven of the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States are due to chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and certain cancers all things that can be impacted by healthy eating.

Onufrak hopes that more companies will embrace wellness programs to improve employee health.

Sharon Palmer, RDN, a dietitian from California, said people probably know that bad food choices lurk in the workplace.

But even Palmer was surprised to find out that snacking on the job can add up to an extra 1,300 calories a week.

“This can contribute to a slow, gradual weight gain over time,” she told Healthline.

Palmer said that free food is often used as an incentive. She’s toured many high-tech companies in her home state that make it an added work “benefit.”

But if the food options aren’t healthy, there’s not much of an advantage.

“Some employers are noticing weight gain among their employees — almost like the ‘freshman 15’ when they first start working there,” she noted.

She also pointed out that if food’s free, people may be more willing to indulge.

“People psychologically feel like they need to take advantage of the benefit of ‘free food,’” said Palmer. “If they paid for it, they probably wouldn’t be eating as much.”

Not all workplaces promote free food and not all of the free food is unhealthy.

Some workplaces offer more healthful choices but often companies offer processed food in vending machines and decadent coffee drinks that can pack on calories without offering nutrient-rich options.

The growing obesity crisis can have a large cost both to people’s health and workplace productivity.

A 2014 study found that obesity causes absenteeism in the workplace, which costs the United States $8.65 billion annually.

Want to eat healthier on the job? Palmer said employees can request healthier options.

“If you see doughnut and cookie trays in the break room, ask for fruit baskets instead,” she said.

Another way to promote better eating at work is to start a health committee. There’s a lot of research on the power of nutrition and wellness to reduce costs for employers and increase productivity among employees, which you can use to make your case.

Want to burn off some of those calories on the clock? Go for a walk on your break or see if you can bring in a fitness class.

As always, try to prepare your own meals for work so you know exactly what you’re eating while you are on the clock.

“Mindless eating of unhealthful foods — not even realizing that you’re grabbing a cookie off of a cookie tray at a meeting or sipping on hundreds of calories in your coffee drink or sweetened tea — is the enemy of wellness,” Palmer said.

Not sure if you eat poorly at work? Document what you put in your mouth for one week in a food diary, she suggested.

“You might be surprised at how much you’re eating while at work,” Palmer added.