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We now blitz through our three meals a day – in just 23 minutes, research has found. A study, which profiled the eating habits of busy Brits, found that breakfast disappears in six minutes, lunch in eight, and dinner in just nine, with one in five never sitting down at the table to eat their meals.
Remarkably, a third also admit they ‘barely noticed the taste of the food’ they consume.
The study by Concious Food, creators of natural digestive remedy D’Mix, also found that half don’t chew their food properly, wolfing down food to get on with more important things like meetings, commuting and looking after the kids.
Kristina Locke, founder of Concious Foods and D’Mix, said:
“We are constantly surprised by the lack of time and importance that people dedicate to eating.
“80% of those polled understood that they should spend at least 20 minutes eating each meal but our research indicates that they are in fact eating all three meals in a third of this time.
“This only serves to highlight the need to address these issues and educate people on the importance of eating slowly and chewing food properly.
“Our lives have become increasingly hectic and it’s clear that people are prioritising work and other commitments over taking time to sit down and eat meals.
“In truth, most British adults are grabbing food on the run, eating it quickly and as such aren’t giving themselves the time to chew and digest their food. This common pattern results in an increase of people suffering with digestive issues which are easily preventable.”
Just under six in 10 people say their life is fast paced and they have little time to do things – as such, 21% of adults will rush, skip or eat breakfast on the run so they can get to work early.
A further 15% will squeeze meals in wherever they can between picking the children up from school and ferrying them to and from kid’s clubs.
While 16% will either miss a meal or carry it with them on public transport, rather than risk missing the bus or train.
A quarter of busy Brits simply want to crack on with important work rather than waste time eating.
And because of this, 33% will eat one or more meal a day on the run, while 42% think nothing of eating two of more meals at the desk.
The study found the typical adult plans just 3 meals out of 28 in advance each week – opting to “wing it” minutes before a mealtime instead.
Unsurprisingly then, 19% of people frequently skip meals altogether because they haven’t had time to prepare anything.
While 73% regularly eat the same food for breakfast every single day, and the same food for lunch, and a third of people often eat unhealthy foods because they are quicker and more convenient to prepare, or because they enjoy them more.
Incredibly, a fifth of respondents don’t ever sit down to eat at the dinner table, and for those that do a third will be working on the laptop at the same time.
Conducting the online food shop, making important phone calls, and the children’s homework are also likely to be completed when people do sit down to eat.
Researchers found that leading a busy lifestyle and rushing meals can have negative health consequences for many.
Indeed, a staggering 73% of people polled suffer from digestive issues, with four in 10 people admitting this might be a direct result of eating too quickly.
And 44% of people are prepared to cut out food groups altogether to alleviate their problems, rather than simply slowing down and enjoying their food.
“The time we spend eating and chewing our food is incredibly important to our digestive health.
“65% of people think that each mouthful needs to be chewed ten times or less when in reality it should be between 20-30 times for improved digestion.
“Education is key to understanding and improving digestion which is why we have launched our Just Chew It campaign. Our website JustChewIt hosts a whole range of expert advice, tips and recipes to aid digestion and improve health.”