Part One: General attitudes towards food and eating

Milan DinicResearch Manager
April 20, 2022, 8:46 AM GMT+0

Which comes closer to describing Briton's diets?

The YouGov Food Study shows that three in four Britons (75%) eat meat, with this being more the case for men (82%) than women (69%).

Six percent describe themselves as vegetarian (8% of women and 3% of men), while a further 11% say they are flexitarian. Two percent of Britons are vegans and 3% are pescatarians.

Our study shows that the younger Britons are, the less likely are they to eat meat: 75% of those aged 16-24 eat meat, compared to 95% of those 60 and older.

The vegetarian diet is most popular among the youngest Britons: 13% of 16-24s are vegetarian, which is more than double compared to older age groups. This mostly applies to 16-24-year-old women, one in five (19%) of whom practice a vegetarian diet, three times more than among men the same age (6%).

How often, if at all, do Britons generally pay attention to the food they eat?

Eight in ten Britons (82%) say they often pay attention to what they eat. However, 16% don’t – with slightly more men (18%) than women (13%) saying they don’t pay attention to their food.

Younger Britons are more likely to not pay attention to what’s on their plate, at 23% of 16-24-year-olds compared to 11% of the over-60s.

How much attention, if at all, do Britons pay to what they eat?

When it comes to specific food types, around three in ten Britons report paying a lot of attention to their sugar intake (30%), processed foods consumption (29%) and the amount of water they drink (29%). One in four (26%) say they pay a lot of attention to their vegetable consumption, and 23% on how much salt they use.

Women are significantly more likely than men to say they pay ‘a lot of attention' to the amount of processed food they eat (35% vs 23%), how much water they drink (33% vs 23%) and the intake of vegetables (32% vs 21%).

Do Britons tend to prioritise taste, health, cost, or something else, when it comes to what food they eat?

Half of Britons (51%) say that taste is most important when it comes to food, twice as many (24%) who say that the most relevant factor is how healthy the food is.

One in five Britons (18%) say cost is their most important priority, with those aged 16-24 (22%) most likely to cite expense and those aged 60+ (12%) the least likely.

Our survey also shows that pescatarians and flexitarians (38-39%) as well as vegetarians (30%) are more likely to say they prioritise health factors in food than meat-eaters (21%).

Do Britons grow their own food?

A third of Britons (33%) report that they’ve grown food themselves, with 10% saying they grow ‘some’ of the food, and another 22% say they grow ‘very little’ of their own food.

Most Britons (65%) don’t grow any food.

Growing food is notably more common among vegetarians (44%) and flexitarians (42%), than among meat-eaters (30%).

See full results here 

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