BBC Good Food Nation survey 2015: How Britain eats

We asked over 5,000 people to complete our survey on eating habits and the result is a revealing insight into how we cook, shop and eat. Read on to discover the nation's gastronomic proclivities.

BBC Good Food Nation survey 2015: How Britain eats

The results of our State of the Nation survey into how we eat in 2015 gave some surprising results. We’ve picked the standout statistics that may make you rethink how you eat, too.

instant frozen berry yogurt topped with berries


Five-a-day fail

We asked survey respondents how many pieces of fruit and veg they eat on average per day, and the result was that 77% fail to hit the recommended five-a-day quota. On average, people eat only three pieces a day, with 9% saying they’d eaten no fruit or veg whatsoever the previous day. If you tend to struggle to get your count up, our five-a-day infographic shows you what constitutes a portion – it might be easier than you think to boost your intake. 

How to eat more fruit and veg
12 ways to get your five-a-day
Menu of fruit and veg-packed breakfasts, lunches and dinners

Vitamin letters and numbers in multicoloured circles

Supplements and vitamins

Our survey found that four in ten (39%) people take vitamins and supplements alongside their daily diet. The top five supplements of choice were multivitamins (13%), fish oils (10%), vitamin C (7%), omega 3 (7%) and calcium (5%). If you’re prone to popping pills to up your health credentials, it’s worth swotting up on what vitamins do for your body and what the correct amounts are.

What do vitamins do?
Vitamin glossary

Bircher breakfast bowl topped with oranges and pomegranates

Meal skipping

The survey results revealed one worrying trend – 38% of people skip a meal often, with young people more likely to go without. While 31% of this group skipped breakfast, 19% skipped lunch and 14% dinner. If you often miss out meals, learning a few key speedy dishes may help ensure there are no gaps in your daily eating routine.

Fuss-free no-cook breakfasts
Speedy suppers
Quick & healthy recipes
Quick veggie recipes

Bowls of different kinds of sugar
Health concerns

According to the survey, sugar is the health story that’s causing us most concern. Updated guidelines on sugar consumption caused a majority of people (54%) to reassess their current habits, and while other health scares have caused ructions (horsemeat scandal concerned 29% and foot and mouth disease 23%) sugar seems to be the issue that’s at the forefront of our minds. If you want to know more about the sweet stuff, we have guides, tips and low-sugar recipes you may find useful…

All you need to know about sugar
Lower sugar recipes
How to cut down on sugar

Bowls of chicken and butterbean soup

Feelgood foods

Everyone has a personal go-to comfort food for when they’re feeling under the weather, and our survey revealed that women’s top remedy is chicken soup (23%), followed by bacon sandwich (14%), toast (11%) and hot chocolate (9%). Men are more likely to reach for a bacon sarnie (19%), but still 20% of them choose chicken soup. If you want to ditch the can of cream of chicken, try a tasty homemade bowl of liquid penicillin…

Our top chicken soup recipes

Steak, chips, peas and peppercorn sauce plated up for one

Solo suppers

We asked survey respondents about their dining companions and it turns out 42% of UK adults eat on their own at least once or twice a week, while 78% of us rarely or never have guests over for dinner. Eating alone allows for some rule-free dining, so celebrate cooking for one and indulge in something sensational…

10 meals worth being alone for

How do you feel about our survey findings? Do you conform to the norm, or are your habits a little more off-piste. We’d love to hear how you compare.

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from TNS. Total sample size was 5,046 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 28th July-10th August 2015.  The survey was carried out online via OnLineBus. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 16+).

Comments, questions and tips

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marta.antonelli
1st Feb, 2016
Hello, is it possible to download the whole report?
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