Lunchtime isn’t what it used to be

British
workers are losing their lunchtime appetites and are cutting back on alcohol
intake as pressure increases for them to be on the ball.

The
annual national survey of eating habits, commissioned by business caterers
Eurest shows lunchtime boozing seems virtually to have disappeared, with just 1
per cent of employees enjoying a lunchtime tipple, compared to one in three
back in 1990.

And,
for the first time mineral water is now ranked among the top three lunchtime
drinks.

In
the report food writer Prue Leith said pressure to perform is making workers
cut short their lunch break. The average lunch break is nine minutes shorter
than in 2000, at a meagre 27 minutes.

Although
people are generally eating more healthily, the report expresses concerns that
the compacted lunch hour is putting excessive stress on workers. Overall 18 per
cent of us never take a lunch break, with 24 per cent of female workers not
taking a break.

And
for the first time in 12 years, average daily lunchtime spending fell, down to
£1.95 – 3p less than in 2000 and one in four workers spend less than £1.00 on
lunch.

The
survey shows people are also becoming less adventurous about where they eat,
with 35 per cent dining regularly at their staff canteens (compared to 16 per
cent in 2000).

By
Ian Broatch

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