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Research reveals the cost of UK’s obsession with takeaways

19th December 2012

The average Brit will devour 2,453 takeaways during their lifetime, a new study by Benenden Healthcare has revealed.

Researchers found hungry adults will gorge their way through 188 kebabs, 322 Chinese dishes and 368 pizzas – with the majority eaten on the way home from a night out.

They will also tuck away 375 burgers, 312 portions of fish and chips and 92 hot dogs.

But they will fork out a wallet-busting £17,250 to feed their fast food habits.

The shock poll of 2,000 Brits was conducted by Benenden Healthcare Society – one of the UK’s leading health and wellbeing mutual organisations.

It revealed the average person will munch their way through 46 takeaway dishes every year - including curries, Chinese, Indians and pizzas.

Lawrence Christensen, Head of Communications & Strategy at Benenden Healthcare, said: ‘There’s a curious obsession with takeaways in the UK and despite a precarious economic situation, they are as popular as always.

‘Brits appear to be spending a lifetime clogging up their arteries with unhealthy food in order to satisfy their late night cravings. It’s often an unnecessary expense born from the heart overruling the head when it comes to making a choice.

‘We are, however, seeing growing numbers of more health-conscious fast food and it remains to be seen if these will catch on. But meanwhile, Brits should be carefully considering their choices and asking whether a takeaway is really necessary. Not only is it a hit on the pocket, but it could be a fast track to a range of health issues.

‘Of course, it’s an individual’s choice to make – but life pressures, lack of knowledge on food content and the late night craving following an alcohol binge can distract us from doing the healthy thing.

Benenden Healthcare’s health and wellbeing magazine, benhealth, often features tips on healthy eating and further information can be found on our website

The study quizzed British adults on their takeaway eating behaviours and attitudes. It found: 

And the dish which comes out top was Chinese, followed by fish and chips and pizza.

The survey found £6 is spent on each occasion and Fridays and Saturdays emerged as the most popular day for a takeaway treat.

When it comes to reasons why Brits opt for takeaways, a ‘can’t be bothered to cook’ attitude is enough for 36 per cent to pick up the phone to their local Indian. One in five ‘just have the urge’ and eight per cent ‘fancy something dirty’. Three in ten reckon they ‘deserve a treat’.

A quarter of respondents said they don’t think about the health implications of eating takeaways and a quarter aren’t bothered by it.

30 per cent are left satisfied after putting the food past their lips. But the feeling of satisfaction doesn’t last long for one in five, who are left feeling fat. Another one in ten regret it and one in twenty even get depressed.

It also emerged 43 per cent have physical cravings for a takeaway and 12 per cent get cranky if they ‘don’t get their fix’. 

The nation’s favourite takeaways:

Chinese

Fish and chips

Pizza

Indian

Kebabs

 

Number of Takeaways

 

 

 

No. per year

Lifetime

Fish and chips

5

312

Kebabs

3

188

Burgers

6

375

Hot dogs

2

92

Indian

6

375

Chinese

7

322

Curry

6

375

Thai

1

46

Pizza

8

368

Total

46

2453

 

* Average lifetime calculated as average adult lifetime of 62.5 years (age 18 to 80.5)

 

 

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