Over 60s admit to regularly skipping meals - study finds

Over 60s admit to regularly skipping meals - study finds
Breakfast is the most skipped meal for the over 60s
16/10/2015 - 10:57
Millions of over 60s have an unhealthier diet than ever - because their kids have left home, a study has found.

Over half (60%) admit to skipping breakfast at least once a week, while almost eight in 10 have a day a week where they don’t eat lunch.

The study, by vitamins and supplements supplier Seven Seas, also found that 62% admitted to regularly ditching a full meal in favour of a piece of toast, packet of crisps or even just a cup of tea or coffee.

Almost one in 10 never sit down to a home-cooked meal, with one in twenty only making an effort to cook something when they have visitors.

No longer needing to worry about what their children eat was among the top reasons for letting their diet slip along with health issues, not feeling as hungry as they used to and living alone.

Helen Bond, consultant dietitian at Seven Seas’, said: “Sadly, this research doesn’t surprise me.  For years we worry about the meals we serve up for our children, and setting them a good example. But when the children have left, it seems there are many who struggle to keep their healthy diets going after their offspring have flown the nest.

“Worryingly, a large number of over 60s are skipping meals altogether, with breakfast – the most important meal of the day – the most common meal to drop.

“You don’t always need to have a large home-cooked meal, but it’s important to make sure you get three balanced and varied meals a day to help keep you fit and healthy and living well into old age.”

The study of 2,000 over 60s found 43% admit their diet isn’t always that healthy, with 12% going as far as to say their diet is worse now than it was in the past.

One in 10 admit they regularly over-eat, while more than one in twenty go to the other extreme and say they tend to under-eat.

But it also emerged the average over 60 skips two breakfasts, two lunches and one evening meal each week.

On top of that, they also replace one breakfast, two lunches and one dinner with a simple snack instead.

Not being hungry in the mornings is the most common reason for not having a hearty breakfast, along with being happy to settle for a cup of tea or coffee or struggling to get going first thing.

And when it comes to skipping lunch or dinner, a third do so because they simply aren’t always hungry, while 31 per cent say it’s easier to grab a snack instead.

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