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British tradition of tea, toast waning as junk food takes hold

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London: According to new data, Britons are consuming less tea and toast, but eating more junk food, suggesting that old favourites are losing popularity.

New figures from the National Food Survey, published by the Environment Department (Defra), show that in the recent decades, the Great Britain is moving towards healthier diets with shifts towards more low-calorie soft drinks, skimmed milk and fresh fruit, but weekly consumption of chips, pizza, crisps and ready meals is on the rise, the Daily Mail reported.

The new data from 150,000 households who took part in the National Food Survey between 1974 and 2000, combined with information from 2000 to 2014 that is already available, shows a dramatic shift from white to brown, wholemeal and other bread.

But Britons have also reduced the amount of bread they eat by 40 per cent since 1974. Based on a 40g slice from a medium loaf, the amount people are eating has fallen from 25 to 15 slices a week, the figures suggest. Traditional spreads such as butter, margarine and dripping have all fallen in popularity since 1974.

The Great British “cuppa” has also declined since the 1970s, with tea consumption falling from 68g per person per week to just 25g.

Another great British staple, fish and chips, appears to be in decline. The consumption of white fish and takeaway fish both more than halved between 1974 and 2014.

People are eating around the same amount of fresh vegetables as they were 40 years ago, but less of green and more of courgettes, mushrooms, aubergines and packs of stir fry veg.

Consumption of ready meals and convenience meats has increased six-fold.

Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss said that food is the heart and soul of their society and this data not only shows what they were eating 40 years ago, but how a change in culture has led to a food revolution.

She noted that the internet has brought quality produce to the doorsteps, pop-up restaurants are showcasing the latest trends and global cuisines are as common as fish and chips, adding “We can look beyond what, where or how previous generations were eating and pinpoint the moments that changed our habits for good.” (ANI)

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