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Study Shows Modern Life is Changing Germans’ Eating Habits

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Study Shows Modern Life is Changing Germans’ Eating Habits

Study Shows Modern Life is Changing Germans’ Eating Habits
February 14
12:02 2012

The unpredictability of the average German’s daily routine is having a significant impact on their eating habits, according to a Nestlé study. The company’s second ‘So is(s)t Deutschland’ (‘That’s how Germany eats/is’) survey asked more than 10,000 people about their day-to-day life and dietary patterns.

Work was an obvious influence on people’s eating habits. Surprisingly, longer working hours affected women’s eating patterns more than men’s. Overall, the study found a striking disparity between the sexes’ general attitude to food. More than 55% of women said they worry very much or too much about their diet, compared to 32% of men.

More than half of 20 to 29-year-olds, and more than two in five professionals who took part in the study said their daily routines were unpredictable. Of this group, only one in five said they ate at fixed times of the day. 43% ate only when they had time and 31% said they ate whenever they were hungry.

Among those professionals who worked a 40 to 49-hour week, 43% of women had irregular eating habits compared to 36% of men. More than two thirds of women whose working week exceeded 50 hours ate irregularly, compared to just over half of men in the same category.

Somewhat predictably, many people who took part in the survey said they tended to partially substitute main meals with snacks. This trend was especially prevalent among the under 30s. More than two thirds of people under 30 ate “every now and then” instead of having a regular main meal. Roughly one sixth of this group replaced a main meal with a snack every day or almost every day. Young single people and young couples without children were most likely to substitute main meals in this way.

More than 90% of non-professionals who were questioned said they ate breakfast, lunch and dinner at home. In contrast, more than two thirds of professionals had lunch outside the home. 27% usually or at least occasionally ate out for breakfast.

The study also confirmed that options for eating out or ‘on-the-go’ have increased significantly in recent years. Young people were the most likely to take advantage of this array of choice. Around 41% of 14 to 29-year-olds in Germany visited fast-food restaurants at least once a month, compared to only 7% of 45 to 59-year-olds.

About 68% of people, including two-thirds of parents with children under the age of 18, felt that too many children in Germany had an unhealthy and unbalanced diet.

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