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Death of the family meal as one in four eat alone

Death of the family meal as one in four eat alone

  • March 08, 2021
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Death of the family meal as one in four eat alone: Skipping dinner also increasingly common as our busy lifestyles take over 

  • Survey of 5,000 British people found one in four eat their main meal alone 
  • Many of those surveyed confessed to skipping meals and snacking instead
  • Poll found 77% of respondents are not getting their five portions a day 

Published: 00:37 GMT, 29 September 2015 | Updated: 01:37 GMT, 29 September 2015

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As many as 89 per cent of the 5,000 adults surveyed said they regularly miss one main meal most of the time, and 88 per cent said they often grab a quick snack to eat between meals

The days of sitting down to a family meal have long been on the wane as our busy lifestyles take over.

Now more than a quarter of Britons eat their main meal alone most days, according to a study of eating habits.

Researchers also found that skipping main meals is increasingly common, while snacking is also on the rise.

As many as 89 per cent of the 5,000 adults surveyed for BBC Good Food said they regularly miss one main meal most of the time, and 88 per cent said they grab a quick bite to eat between meals.

Meanwhile 27 per cent said they eat alone more often than not, and 78 per cent they rarely or never invite friends or family over at mealtimes.

This could be the reason why one in three of respondents said they don’t bother to have breakfast, 19 per cent always miss lunch and 14 per cent miss dinner every day.

Meal skipping is particularly pronounced among 18 to 24-year-olds, with 42 per cent skipping breakfast, 26 per cent missing lunch and 23 per cent ditching dinner.

The poll also found that 77 per cent of respondents are not getting their recommended five portions of fruit and veg a day, and almost a tenth eat none at all. 

However, 38 per cent average three or four portions.

BBC Good Food’s nutritionist Kerry Torrens said: ‘We increasingly seem to be a nation divided when it comes to health. Most of us are not managing five a day. 

‘Most of us are not managing 5 a day. Although many are close to the amount recommended per day, a sizeable minority seem to be way off mark.

‘Cost is a big issue for many but it doesn’t make sense to use vitamins and supplements when fruit and vegetables are a much cheaper, effective alternative.’ 

Researchers also found that skipping main meals is increasingly common, while snacking is also on the rise

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