In September, I ran a survey asking students about their eating habits, partly out of curiosity and also as a bit of market research to see which areas I need to focus on to appeal to more student readers. The results are in, drum roll please, and I can reveal that...
The small majority of students (34%) eat red meat once a week, closely followed by 2-3 times a week (21.7%) while 13% eat it 3-5 times a week, with another 13% consuming red meat only 2-3 times a month. 8.7% rarely eat red meat while another 13% say they never eat it. Quite a varied lot!
Poultry proved more popular, with 43.5% of students eating it 2-3 times a week and another 30.4% having it 3-4 times a week! One person even admits to eating chicken every day! Explains why Nando’s is so popular!
Fish and seafood is another varied one, with the highest percentage of 21.7% being once a week, while 2-3 times a week, 2-3 times a month, rarely and never all getting 17.4% each, with only 8.7% eating seafood 3-5 times a week and no-one answered every day!
I then wanted to see if students are following the 5-a-day government advice, with 13% eating an average of 5 fruits and vegetables a day, another 13% eating more than 5 portions while the naughty majority of 47.8% percent admitting to only 3 portions of fruit and veg a day, and an even naughtier 30.4% only eating 2! Tut-tut!
So are students as lazy as they are made out to be and turn to the ready meal? Perhaps not, as only 4.3% claim to turn to the ready meal 3-5 times a week, along with 13% admitting to eating them 2-3 times a week and another 13% microwaving their dinners once a week. The majority (30%) claim only to eat them rarely and a further 21% declaring they never go near them!
So if ready meals aren’t as popular as I had imagined, does that mean students are spending more of their valuable time cooking? In a question asking how long students spend preparing and cooking their meals on average, half of my respondents dedicate between 15-30 minutes to prepare a meal, while an even more dedicated lot (36.4%) spend 30-60 minutes cooking!
Lastly, in an attempt to find out how often students eat out, I asked about their lunch and dinner habits. Lunch turns out to be a more popular time to eat out with the majority claiming to eating out 2-3 times a week at lunchtime, while the majority of dinner outings occur once a week.
Do the results surprise you? Apart from the fruit and veg situation, I was impressed by the responses, it’s not all beans on toast after all! But what can we do to improve? Perhaps you can take a look on Channel 4’s River Cottaicge mini-site for some creative veg-filled recipes which can be found here , so give those chickens a rest and start eating more veg!