The results were hardly surprising. Those who reported as such then experienced physical problems the next day, dealing with things like headaches, stomach aches and diarrhoea. Ugh, not what you want on the day of an important meeting. As well as the physical effects of unhealthy eating, the psychological effects had a huge impact on their performance, too. Those who indulged in a late-night feast reported declines in “helping behaviours,” such as helping their colleagues when they don’t have to. Instead, they tended to be more withdrawn from work-related situations, despite being present in the workplace.
As Seonghee Cho, corresponding author of the study and an assistant professor of psychology at North Carolina State University, explained: “For the first time, we have shown that healthy eating immediately affects our workplace behaviours and performance. It is relatively well established that the other health-related behaviours, such as sleep and exercise, affect our work. But nobody had looked at the short-term effects of unhealthy eating.”
So, next time you’re stressed and reaching for the junk food, take a breath and prepare something nourishing instead. Ok, easier said than done, we get it. But just remember that whatever you eat for dinner is going to have a big impact on how you behave at work the next day, so best leave the indulgences to the weekend when your attitude isn’t going to face the scrutiny of a workplace.