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Avoiding office party sugar shaming

Decorative picture of desserts on table

DALLAS – Dec. 7, 2018 – Many employees appreciate the free sweet treats such as pies, cakes, and other confections offered at work and end-of-year networking opportunities, while others actively encourage “sugar shaming” – pressuring others to indulge during the holidays.

“Those with diabetes or obesity are often not comfortable being firm with wanting dietary accommodations, and workers do not have to disclose health conditions and therefore these may not be known by party planners,” says Kathleen Eustace, clinical nutritionist at UT Southwestern School of Health Professions

“Inevitably someone will say something about food if you’re not joining in, and we need to remember that we are free to eat or not eat what we please,” Ms. Eustace says. “Often the comments of others come from their own issues or egos about foods, and we should take them with a grain of salt.” 

Kathleen Eustace
Kathleen Eustace

She suggests staying resolute and sticking to diet guidelines, getting involved in party planning to help direct better menu options, or bringing diabetic-friendly foods and healthier alternatives to potluck events.

“I would also recommend that a healthy meal be consumed prior to networking parties to decrease temptation. Drinking water and/or sipping on a diet soda will also help prevent snacking,” she says.

About UT Southwestern Medical Center

UT Southwestern, one of the premier academic medical centers in the nation, integrates pioneering biomedical research with exceptional clinical care and education. The institution’s faculty has received six Nobel Prizes, and includes 22 members of the National Academy of Sciences, 17 members of the National Academy of Medicine, and 15 Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigators. The faculty of more than 2,700 is responsible for groundbreaking medical advances and is committed to translating science-driven research quickly to new clinical treatments. UT Southwestern physicians provide care in about 80 specialties to more than 105,000 hospitalized patients, nearly 370,000 emergency room cases, and oversee approximately 2.4 million outpatient visits a year.