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Desktop Dining Is Popular Recipe For Obesity

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If you eat breakfast, lunch or snacks while working at your desk, you may be part of a trend.

You also may be at risk for indigestion or weight gain.

Desktop dining is all the rage for busy American workers, according to a poll of 1,024 full-time employees who work at desks.

Many also nibble on food that is left around their office -- even if it has been there for hours. Experts say this can lead to food poisoning.

The poll found:

* 10% of men and 7% of women dine at their desktops for dinner.

* 69% say that at least once a week food is available at the office to share, such as desserts, breakfast foods, cheese, crackers and chips.

* Food at the office often sits out for more than two hours or until it's finished.

When you eat at your desk, you're likely to consume more without realizing it, says David Grotto of the American Dietetic Association, which co-sponsored the survey with ConAgra Foods.

''When you open a bag of something, there's almost a piston-like action that's automatic from your hand to your mouth.''

If you have to eat there, turn off the computer and focus on your lunch, Grotto says. And don't eat foods that have been out for more than two hours, he says.

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© Copyright 2003 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.

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