NEW research has revealed the mining industry has the greatest number of overweight or obese employees, with amazingly close to 80% of workers fat.
The research, conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics and commissioned by Jenny Craig, found that management and office jobs also ranked highly for fat workers.
Dietitian James Morris said unhealthy lunch options can contribute to weight gain and were part of the problem.
"Eating healthy at work is all about planning," he said.
"For a lot of people on the go it can be hard to plan ahead, so they make these convenience choices which tend to be unhealthy.
"Food and eating is largely a behavioural thing, and the first step to eating a healthy meal is getting in the routine of planning and preparing meals.
"Getting in to the mindset of planning and making a routine will lead to healthier food choices which can help weight loss."
Mr Morris said a good place to start was by making a weekly shopping list each week, which reduces the temptation to eat out.
"Contrary to popular belief, eating healthy is actually cheaper," he said.
"For example, lots of people buy pre-sliced ham because they believe it's cheaper and easier, but processed meat like that is quite unhealthy and can cost around $20/kg.
"A lean chicken breast is much healthier, and cheaper too."
If there is no other choice than to buy lunch, Mr Morris said to look for meals that were rich in fruit and vegetables and low in GI carbohydrates.
Jetts Fitness Grafton assistant manager Mary Squires said it takes a bit of creativity to to get active at work.
"For people who work in an office, sitting down for extended periods of time is not good for their circulation and can cause other health problems," she said.
"People should aim for around 10, 000 steps a day to get moving."
Ms Squires said to reach the step mark, people who drive to work could park further away to increase the number of steps they take.
"We have people who come in and train on their lunch break, and they say it gives them a boost for the rest of the day," she said.
"As long as people exercise for 30 minutes a day they should be nice and healthy."
While Australia is not the fattest country in the world, it does have one of the fastest growth rates for overweight and obese people, according to reserach from Obesity Australia.
Top 10 sectors with most employees (male and female) overweight or obese:
1. Mining: 78.2%
2. Transport, postal and warehousing: 74.8%
3. Wholesale trade: 69.7%
4. Agriculture, forestry and fishing: 69.3%
5. Public administration and safety: 68.4%
6. Manufacturing: 67.3%
7. Financial and insurance services: 65.2%
8. Construction: 64.5%
9. Electricity, gas, water and waste services: 64.3%
10. Rental, hiring and real estate services: 63.7%
Here are some of dietitian James Morris's tips for a healthy and wholesome work lunch:
Swap white bread for multi-grain that has visible oats and seeds, which provide more nutrients and an overall greater health benefit.
Follow the plate model, where the bulk (or at least half) of lunch is salad or vegetables, a quarter is lean protein and the rest a low GI carbohydrate like brown rice.
The best drink at any time is water. Aim for six to eight glasses a day.
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