Business

Pasta? White bread? Soda? Not at Reebok’s Canton headquarters

8/3/05 Reebok International Ltd., in Canton ma. Library Tag 08042005 Business Library Tag 08072005 Globe South 1, 2 Library Tag 02152009 Globe South
Globe file 2005
Reebok’s headquarters in Canton, Mass.

There’s a sugar rush at Reebok’s Canton headquarters — a rush to get rid of the stuff.

Reebok International Ltd. announced it has banned a litany of bad-for-you food, including white breads, pastas, fried foods, and large candy bars at its global headquarters.

No pasta? Really?

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The move is part of a company-wide initiative to reduce unhealthy fare, and comes on the heels of the fitness retailer’s close alignment with the CrossFit phenomenon. Reebok is a major sponsor of CrossFit, many of whose members also embrace the Paleo diet, a low-sugar, low-starch regimen.

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The company says it’s time to challenge its own employees to set a good example on healthy living. Since earlier this year, it has slowly been replacing junk food in its cafeterias and vending machines with nuts, fruits, and vegetables.

Reebok spokesman Daniel Sarro insisted the decision does not amount to an all-out prohibition.

Employees who bring leftover pasta or white-bread sandwiches from home will not be met with judgment.

“Nothing’s banned from people bringing it into the building,” he said. “We just removed all those things from our kitchens and cafeteria.”

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But soda really had it coming. The decision to remove it was spurred by the company’s national survey on soda consumption. Reebok’s survey found that 4 in 10 Americans cannot name three of the ingredients in soda, including water.

“After seeing these survey results and hearing directly from many of our employees here, we felt removing sugary products from our HQ was simply the right thing to do,” Matt O’Toole, Reebok’s president, said in the announcement.

The footwear and fitness apparel company enlisted the help of some of its fittest employees, led by a CrossFit instructor, to remove all of the offending vending machines from the campus.

The company posted a video of the instructor flipping a soda vending machine out of a building, much like CrossFitters flip giant tires as part of their workouts.

Katheleen Conti can be reached at kconti@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @GlobeKConti.