What is it about being in an office that gives people a voracious appetite for snacks?

That's the subject of a recent story in New York magazine that examines the psychology behind workplace snacking. Joining Boston Public Radio to share his take was food writer Corby Kummer. He's a senior editor at The Atlantic, an award-winning food writer and a senior lecturer at the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition and Policy.

It's a phenomenon Kummer likens to the "buffet effect," where the easy availability of food can make people more likely to overeat.

"It's free. It's there. You feel like you're getting away with a lot," Kummer said.

"You have much more food if it's right there ... more than you ever otherwise would have," he continued.

But Kummer says employers also benefit from keeping their colleagues well-fed. Companies are increasingly offering snacks or free lunch as a way to lure talent. Providing snacks can even improve an employee's productivity or perspective on meetings, Kummer added.

"It coerces people into being more cooperative at meetings if you give them snacks — even if they don't want them," Kummer said.