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Food-pushing work colleagues 'ruin diets'

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Trying to eat healthily in the Stylist office is like trying to swear off cakes in a patisserie - we're surrounded by a constant stream of sweets, chocolate, cheese boards and other tempting goodies...

So we're far from surprised by a new study which has found co-workers and an office environment are to blame when it comes to breaking a diet.

Some 29% of people on diets say colleagues pressure them to eat more, mock their diets or urge them to eat food that they know is not on their diets, according to the survey by Florida weight-loss clinic Medi-Weightloss.

These so-called "office feeders" may end up sabotaging a diet altogether over time, with constant pleas to join big lunches or happy hour.

Endless rounds of birthday celebrations and mid-afternoon chocolate breaks add to the effect, making attempts to lose weight even more difficult.

Another study published in the journal Obesity last month found peers' attitude and behaviour was key in sticking to diets - or abandoning them.

"Social contacts can be extremely powerful," the study's lead author, Tricia Leahey, told The Wall Street Journal.

So how to avoid being giving in to your food-pushing colleagues? A nutritionist quoted by the WSJ recommends rehearsing lines such as, "I've had your food in the past and it's always delicious. But I'm sorry, at this time in my life, eating those extra whatever isn't benefiting my health."

We're busy practising those sayings now - as we tuck into another bag of Haribo...

What do you think? Are you a victim of your food-pushing colleagues? Or are workplace treats just an inevitable part of working life? Let us know on Twitter or in the comments section below.

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