Brits led Europe in eating more junk food during lockdown, survey finds

Luke O'Reilly
·1 min read
<p>Britons led the way in junk food consumption over lockdown</p> (PA)

Britons led the way in junk food consumption over lockdown

(PA)

Britons ate and drank the most junk food and alcohol out of 10 Europe countries during lockdown, a study suggests.

Participants in the UK reported a 29 per cent rise in consuming both convenience foods and alcohol, as well as a 34 per cent rise in the consumption of "tasty treats" - the largest in Europe.

Britons also led the way in snacking, with a reported 27 per cent increase during lockdown.

The research, conducted by EIT Food and a consortium of European universities led by Aarhus University in Denmark, surveyed 5,000 consumers.

It also found an increase in healthy eating habits across the 10 countries.

Britons ate 33 per cent more fresh fruit and 31 per cent more vegetables during the pandemic. Homecooking also saw a 27 per cent rise in the UK.

It comes after some of the UK’s biggest food and drink companies criticised proposals to ban online advertising for products high in salt, sugar and fat last month.

The Department of Health and Social Care launched a six-week consultation in early November to try to understand the impact of introducing a total ban on advertising junk food online.

But in a letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, food and drink industry leaders branded it a “disproportionate proposal with an impossibly short time period” for response.

The letter, signed by more than 800 food and drink manufacturers and 3,000 UK brands including bosses of Mars, Britvic, Unilever and Kellogg’s, said the evidence underpinning the proposals was “lacking in detail and efficacy”.

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