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."
By Janie Stamford
E-mail your comments to Janie Stamford here.
If you have something to say on this story or anything else join the debate at Table Talk - Caterer's new networking forum. Go to www.caterersearch.com/tabletalk
Looking for a new job? Find your next job here with Caterersearch.com jobs