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Shocking New Figures Suggest That Britain May Be Eating Less Snacks

A new report from market research agency Mintel shows that Britain’s consumption of chocolate, cake, and crisp snacks has fallen over the past year.
Phoebe Hurst
London, GB
April 6, 2016, 12:12pm
Photo via Flickr user Susanne Davidson

A banana after breakfast, a sneaky slice of toast before lunch, obviously a chocolate biscuit for elevenses, and, oh alright then, maybe just a few bread sticks before dinner. It's been nearly 45 since you last ate, after all.

It's hard to imagine how our we would segment our days without regular snacking intervals but according to a new report from market research agency Mintel, Britain's appetite for eating between meals may be on the wane.

READ MORE: Late-Night Snacking Can Make You Stupider

Consumption of chocolate, which in 2014 was our most eaten snack (along with fresh fruit—we're not all cocoa-crazy sugar fiends, y'know), fell by nearly 10 percent. While 68 percent of us sated our afternoon cravings with chocolate in 2014, in 2015, this had fallen to 59 percent. The number of Brits relieving hunger pangs with crisps fell dramatically during this time too, as did snacking on cakes and sweet baked goods.

Mintel also noted that less of us were eating pies, pastries, and sausage rolls between meals. This might not be such a bad thing, though—if you consider a steak and kidney pie an appropriate pre-lunch pick-me-up, your dietary choices probably need some rethinking.

But with the UK dubbed "the fat man of Europe," it's understandable that many Brits are attempting to cut back on salt and sugar-laden snacks. Mintel also found that nearly half of UK adults said they tried to eat healthily "most of the time" and 70 percent of those who did snack admitted that cutting back on between-meal eating was an easy way to reduce calorie intake.

READ MORE: Americans Now Consider Literally Anything a 'Snack'

Despite our declining snack habits, Britain hasn't become a nation of Deliciously Ella clones, sticking to a strict three-meal-a-day eating pattern broken only by handfuls of activated dates if you're feeling particularly peckish. We still snack—a lot. The report notes that 95 percent of those questioned ate snacks in the month of December 2015, which was only down two percentage points from the previous year.

Not even Ella herself could see out the festive period without at least one (17) Quality Streets before tea.