Childhood affects eating habits of four in five later in life

Childhood affects eating habits of four in five later in life

  • 80 percent of Brits say when they were growing up their immediate family affected their eating attitudes later in life
  • 41 percent of UK adults believe their school life influences their current eating behavior

There are numerous things that are widely acknowledged to influence eating habits for adults, ranging from health concerns and allergies to the latest fad diet, but new findings from Opinium Research show that various aspects of growing up affects our eating behavior later in life.

Family was found to have a larger influence than school, which only affects the adult eating behavior of two in five adults (41%), and even advertising (35%).

Some of the most common instructions children were told at mealtimes include:

  • Don?t waste food as it costs money (62%)
  • Finish your meals as children are starving in other countries (47%)
  • Eat all your vegetables (47%)

Kate Norfolk, head of healthcare research at Opinium, commented:
?It is interesting to see that your childhood can affect attitudes to eating when you are all grown up. Whilst many of us have busy lives, it is important to maintain a healthy diet, and to show children the importance of eating a balanced diet supplemented with exercise. This doesn?t mean that you can?t treat yourself every once in a while but the key is moderation!?

Opinium Research carried out an online survey of 2,014 people aged 18+ between 6th to 9th June 2012. Results have been weighted to nationally representative criteria.