Australians prioritise convenience and value-for-money ahead of healthy lunches

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 2nd October 2012

Despite increased warnings, Australians are placing convenience and value for money over their health and well-being.

According to lunchmeal group, SumoSalad,  its  National Lunchtime Habits Survey has revealed that 46% of Australians place convenience and value for money as the main drivers for their lunchtime decisions, with health and nutrition only driving 31% of choices. South Australians, ACT residents, Victorians and West Australians were found to “make some of the healthiest lunchtime choices, while NSW and Queensland residents place the least amount of importance on health and nutrition by residents.” Additional state-by-state survey differences were revealed.

Overall, 86% of Australians were of the view that breakfast and dinner are more important than lunch and this is reflected in lunchtime choices and habits. A surprising 79% of Australians take 30 minutes or less for lunch during the week and 46% of Australians are skipping it all together at least once a week.

SumoSalad National Lunchtime Habits Survey findings also included:
– 36% of Australians say they eat healthy lunches 2-3 times a week
– 38% of Australians eat lunch at our desk or in the workplace
– 33% of takeaway choices consist of burgers/chicken and chips, Asian (curry, stir-fry, noodles) or bakery items (such as pies and  sausage rolls)
– cake/slices/doughnuts (28%) and chocolate (20%) are the most popular lunchtime ‘treats’

SumoSalad’s Dietitian Georgina Moore (APD, AN) said the National Lunchtime Habits Survey revealed that a lack of time and interest around lunch is leading to poor dietary habits  “which can lead to increased risks of obesity, diabetes and other lifestyle related diseases”.

Moore said “Given the large gap between breakfast and dinner, lunch is actually one of our most important meals. It ensures we have sufficient energy levels to get us through the day, maintaining decent levels of productivity. A poor lunch choice can throw off the rest of our day in terms of ‘good’ habits and can set ourselves up to fail in the healthy eating stakes on a regular basis.”

Luke Baylis, Managing Director of SumoSalad said, “At SumoSalad we understand the lack of time Australians have during the week for lunch. But this doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice our health. “

SumoSalad have been developing a product range to offer healthier food options , that can be consumed in a short period, recognising the current deficiencies in surveyed Australian eating habits.