"It's frightening that people, especially younger generations, are eating so much junk food loaded with fat, sugar and salt, but offers little nutritional value."
While most people don't maintain the healthiest habits during their teenage years, a new study has found that kids these days are consuming tons of fast food—with many hitting the drive-thru twice a day, or more.
Though the BBC's Good Food Nation Survey resulted in a number of telling tidbits about the eating habits of Brits, perhaps the most jarring of all was the rampant junk food consumption by 16 to 20-year-olds. Of those surveyed, one in six teens ate fast food at least twice a day; of the 21 to 34-year-old group, one in eight claimed to eat fast food at that frequency.
The 20- and 30-somethings were also found to be more likely to snap, post, and like food photos on social media. According to the survey, two in five said they had posted a picture of something they had cooked, while a third had posted a restaurant meal in the past. One in three members of that same age group claimed to have been inspired to prepare a certain meal because of a mouthwatering pic on their Insta feed.
Of the 5,000 people polled by the BBC, half believed that "a meal isn't a meal without meat." Yet, the majority were also unable to identify the recommended daily amount of meat consumption by the Department of Health (70 grams per day); a quarter of the survey respondents thought the advised meat intake was twice that amount.
As for those salad-loving millennials, 21 to 34-year-olds were most likely to be vegetarian (15 percent) or vegan (7 percent).
Results have some health experts seriously concerned for the state of British diets, particularly among teens. "It's frightening that people, especially younger generations, are eating so much junk food loaded with fat, sugar and salt, but offers little nutritional value," Sarah Toule, head of health information at the World Cancer Research Fund, tells the BBC.
Toule notes that one of the biggest culprits in promoting the consumption of fast food is television advertisements, and that the government should be doing more to regulate what is being consumed by young eyes.
"Having junk food splashed across our television screens... only helps feed the unhealthy food environment we live in," she says. Those who recently found that junk food ads alter kids' brains would no doubt agree.