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Millions of busy young professionals cook just once a week and survive the rest of the time on quick-fix meals such as beans on toast, scrambled eggs and instant noodles, research has shown. A study of employees aged 18 to 30 shows many are too busy to produce daily culinary delights, so instead whip up dishes like pizza, pesto and pasta, soup, stir fry, burgers and cheese on toast.
One in four of those polled even admitted to regularly having a bowl of cereal in place of a proper meal, purely because they can’t be bothered to do anything else.
The findings also suggested at least one meal a week will be eaten on the bus, train or in a fast food restaurant on the way home from work.
Geoff Cormack, spokesman for Harbour Salmon Co. Infusions, which conducted the study of 980 young professionals said:
“Young professionals who are totally committed to work – and who don’t have a family to go home to – are likely to view food as something to keep them going rather than an enjoyable part of the day.
“The study indicates that workers are too busy, too stressed and too side-tracked to give a decent amount of time or thought to what they will eat for their evening meal.
“As such, workers are opting for quick fix meals which are fast to prepare, and take little effort.
“Unfortunately this can mean that some of the meals Brits are choosing to eat – such as pies, chips and pizza are on the unhealthy side. But there are quick, healthy and stress free alternatives.”
The survey shows young professionals will regularly consume short cut meals such as sausage and chips, ham, egg and chips, and pie and chips.
Toasties, chicken nuggets, and fishfinger sandwiches also form a staple part of the young working professional’s diet.
Busy Brits who work long hours will eat at least two evening meals from a packet or jar each week, while opting for a meal out at least once a week.
But eight in 10 admit they would try to cook from scratch more often if they arrived home from work at a decent time – and most workers rarely walk through the front door before 7pm.
Two thirds admit that by the time they do get home, they are so exhausted from the day they simply can’t find the energy to do anything more than switch on the microwave or oven.
Just over half of those polled admit that sometimes they get home from work so late they have gone past the point of a big meal and prefer to snack instead.
Indeed, research indicates that in an average week, a quarter of workers will only manage to eat three meals a day once or twice, while one in 10 will never eat breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Six in 10 professionals claim it costs too much to cook from scratch every night, and as a consequence four in 10 opt for microwave meals up to three times a week.
Geoff Cormack continues:
“It can be really tricky for people in full time work including young professionals to make time to cook and stay healthy.
“And even if they do have the time and inclination lots of people are unsure or uncomfortable cooking fish. But there are ways to whip up nutritious meals in literally minutes without any stress or mess.”
TOP 20 ‘QUICK FIX’ MEALS
- Jacket potato
- Stir fry
- Pasta and pesto
- Beans on toast
- Scrambled eggs
- A bowl of cereal
- Stuffed pasta
- Cheese on toast
- Sausage and chips
- Instant noodles
- Pie and chips
- Burger and chips
- Chicken nuggets and chips
- Fishfinger sandwich
- Burger in a bun
- Ham, egg and chips