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Managing Your Budget And Your Waistline

12.11.2013

It has recently emerged is that we as individuals are spending less money and eating less food than we were in 1980. In fact, our expenditure has dropped by a staggering 30% since this point over 30 years ago.

The tightening of our purse strings due to the current economic crisis has compromised the quality of food we are choosing to buy as a nation. The Institute of Fiscal Studies reported that families have cut costs on fresh fruit and vegetables and are in fact stocking up on processed foods.

In direct relation to this, it is reported that our calorie intake has also decreased by 15-30% since 1980. However, as a nation, our weight has increased but yet our calorie intake has done the opposite. This highlights the importance of the specific foods we eat VS the calorific total of food.

‘Between 2005 and 2007, the average household spent £102 per month on food per adult but this fell to £93.30 from 2010 to 2012.’

Researcher Melanie Luhrmann explains, ‘We were surprised to find that there has been a substantial decline in total calories purchased at a time when obesity has increased.’

Items such a fizzy drinks, snack bars and ready meals have taken a permanent place on the shopping list for many who are short on time and wanting to keep to a budget.

However, purchasing basic food items such as fruit and vegetables and adding your own flavours through things such as spices, make for a much cheaper and tastier alternative for a dinner. It needn’t be complicated to do so, a little flavour only takes a few short seconds to add to a meal, at least then you know what specifically is in your meal!

For a very simple example: There are tens, if not hundreds of different brands of yogurts on the shelves of our supermarkets, all competing to be the thickest, tastiest and creamiest available. However, notice the stark comparisons not just in sugar and fat content, but also price.  

 

Tesco low fat natural yogurt, 500g £0.49                   Yeo Valley Blueberry Yogurt, 450g £1.50

100g contains:   protein 5.5g                                     100g contains: protein 4.7g

                          sugars 4.9g                                                              sugars 13.5g

                          fat 0.2g                                                                    fat 3.8g

There is no need for natural yogurt to be dull or boring, the great thing about it is that you can add your own things into it, altering your breakfast as frequently as you like. For example, having some fresh berries such as blueberries and raspberries alongside your yogurt will give it an added texture and flavour, the next morning you could add some fresh pineapple, for a kick of sweetness. Cinnamon is also a great low sugar natural form of sweeteners if that’s what you think you’ll miss when buying natural yogurt.

Our increased purchasing of processed foods has led to the average adult consuming 2g more of saturated fat compared to 2005; proving that although we are consuming less calories, an increased consumption of processed foods and therefore fat and sugar is having a dramatically growing impact on our waistlines and health.

 

Click here to read more on how the average British diet of processed foods is doing to us.

 

If you would like to know more about our healthy eating initiatives for business and how we can help you and your employees, please call 0845 533 5302.



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