By Mike Pomranz
June 22, 2017
© Arielle Cifuentes

The nonstop barrage of office birthday celebrations may seem like the highlight of your otherwise soul-crushing work week, but according to one of the UK’s most prominent health organizations, all those supposedly innocent work respites may actually be making your life worse. And no, it’s not too late to make your New Year’s resolution “quit my job.”

Dentists at the Royal College of Surgeons based in London decided to kick off 2017 by reminding everyone – employers and employees alike – of the problems with what they call “cake culture” in offices. “The Faculty of Dental Surgery (FDS) is concerned that the workplace is now the main place where many people will eat sugar and that it is contributing to the obesity epidemic and poor oral health,” the organization wrote in a news release posted today. So I can’t eat sugar at home; I can’t eat sugar in the office. Where the hell am I supposed to eat my sugar? At the gym?

Part of the problem with cake culture is how commonplace it’s become. “We all recognize it,” said Professor Nigel Hunt, Dean of the Faculty of Dental Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons. “Managers want to reward staff for their efforts, colleagues want to celebrate special occasions and workers want to bring back a gift from their holidays… We need a culture change in offices and other workplaces that encourages healthy eating and helps workers avoid caving in to sweet temptations such as cakes, sweets and biscuits.”


To help push their devious agenda, the FDS also recommended “five top tips” for cutting back on workplace sugar excess. Though much of their plan is pretty straightforward, it also includes some potentially controversial ideas like “organizing a sugar schedule.” “For example, if there are birthdays on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, arrange to have cake at Friday lunchtime to celebrate all three, rather than on each individual day,” they wrote.

Sure, forcing people to celebrate their birthdays on a predetermined day that isn’t their actual birthday might reduce sugar consumption, but is it worth the increase in workplace violence?