Helen Bond

Dietitian Helen Bond is not in favor of giving disrepute to the cake during office meetings. She does not want to ban these sweet bakery product but suggests to have things in moderation with dried fruits and hot cross buns sometimes.

Helen Bond and her take on banning of cakes at office meetings

Often, people label food items as healthy and unhealthy. The unhealthy foods are put in the category of junk foods. And people do not want to have even a morsel of these unhealthy foods. Similarly, cakes during office meetings have got a bad name. People label it as unhealthy due to its sugar and refined flour. Hence, meeting participants have requested for banning these cakes during meetings.

Helen Bond
Cakes at office meetings (Source: The Guardian)

But Helen Bond, 49, a dietitian feels that this approach to foods is not right. All foods have their plus and minus points. One should have a varied and balanced diet daily. Occasional consumption of such sweet foods is not bad. Moreover, these foods are also a form of comfort foods for many.

Helen suggests that one can have it in moderation. Excessive consumption of these sweet sugary treats is bad but having them less frequently will do no harm.

Who asked for the ban of cakes?

It was Professor Susan Jebb, chair of the Food Standards Agency who had suggested that sweet treats like cakes at office meetings tempts one to have them. People are unable to resist them and it potentially leads to health issues. Susan also compared them to smoking.

Helen Bond
Cakes (Source: Everyday cooks)

But Helen, based in Derbyshire, disagrees with the ban and the comparison to tobacco. Helen explained:

I don’t agree that cake should be compared to tobacco or cigarettes.”

“This demonisation of one food item is not helpful.”

“As a dietician I would never condemn eating cake, because I believe no food should be banned.”

Further, Helen added:

“Food should be celebrated and enjoyed as part of your overall diet.”

““I don’t want to create a negative psychological association with one particular food group, as this can lead to distorted eating.”

Balance is the key

Helen is of the opinion that balance in life and diet is vital. She said:

As a registered dietician I believe in everything in moderation,”

“It’s important to balance moderation, pleasure and nutrition.”

“Cakes are a food many of us enjoy, but they tend to be high in calories and sugars, which is potentially not good for our overall health, particularly given we have an obesity epidemic.”

“Added sugars are the types of sugar we should be reducing, with less than 30 g per day for an adult.”

“It’s not good for our waistlines or dental health.”

Helen Bond
Hot cross buns (Source: Bon appetit)

And she continued:

“However, I think all foods can be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet. The odd piece of cake in an office environment is totally fine, just not every day and have this be considered the norm.”

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Her suggestion is to go for homemade cakes. Adding fresh fruits or going for fruit cakes would be healthier. And she requests to rotate them with other meeting foods such as hot cross buns, dried fruits, nuts, sandwiches and the like.