Recession has made it harder to choose healthy food

27 September 2011 by
Recession has made it harder to choose healthy food

Healthy eating choices have been hampered by the recession, according to research by contract catering group Westbury Street Holdings (WSH).

Almost a quarter of parents surveyed (22%) said that the recession had reduced their ability to make healthy eating choices for their child, and 18% of adults said it was more difficult to make healthy choices for themselves.

More than half of those surveyed claimed their financial circumstances had worsened as a result of the recession, which has impacted their food decisions - 53% said they went out for meals less, while 23% claimed they now cooked at home more often.

Commenting on these findings, Alastair Storey (pictured), chief executive of WSH, described the survey as enlightening.

He said: "Should we be surprised that nearly two-thirds (62%) of people are regularly eating dinner in the front of the TV, or that almost a quarter of people (23%) eat their lunch at their desks at work? The long-hours culture shows no signs of abating either, with the lunch ‘hour' now being just 20 minutes and 36 seconds on average.

"While a traditional roast dinner is now cited as the nation's favourite dish, eating habits are adapting to suit a busy lifestyle and, disappointingly, only just over a third of people (36%) actually cook on a daily basis. Rushing mealtimes will do nothing to help tackle the obesity issue that faces us as a nation."

However, the results of the survey were not all doom and gloom. Around a quarter of people highlighted sustainability of ingredients, locally sourcing, support of British agriculture and free-range ingredients as being important when making their food choices for eating out.

Storey added: "Even though 53% are eating meals out less, it's the quality of the food (83%) over the cost (70%) which more people find to be an important factor when buying food out."

BaxterStorey, Caterlink and Holroyd Howe sign up to Sustainable Fish City >>

Caterer and Hotelkeeper 100: Noel Mahony, BaxterStorey >>

Caterer and Hotelkeeper 100: Alastair Storey, BaxterStorey >>

By Janie Stamford

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