Study: 58 Percent Likely to Skip Lunch

Posted on July 19, 2005

A new national survey commissioned by Smoothie King has found that many Americans are too busy to get a healthy lunch and 58% said they will skip lunch if they are too busy. According to study 43% of Americans view lunch as the least important meal to overall health.

More survey respondents indicated that they eat lunch in a car (15 percent) than at a restaurant (14 percent). For those that dine out for lunch, half expect to get a food order in less than 10 minutes, and nearly three out of every 10 Americans choose restaurants with quick service over healthy fare. Among the poll findings, four out of every 10 Americans eat lunch alone each day, and a third eat lunch at work. The vast majority of consumers today (82 percent) regularly spend 30 minutes or less on lunch; 43 percent spend as little as 15 minutes or less.

According to Sports and Lifestyle Nutritionist Molly Kimball, LDN, RD, the survey findings point to several challenges that Americans believe keep them from making healthy lunchtime choices, such as lack of time, need for convenience, and an on-the-go lifestyle. 35% of poll respondents indicated that needing to eat lunch while doing something else, like driving or working, is a challenge to eating a healthy meal.

"Today many time-crunched Americans are multi-tasking lunch, sometimes even dining in their cars. When people are in a hurry, they're more likely to grab a high-calorie, fast-food combo meal or just skip lunch entirely," said Kimball. "Short-term effects like mood swings, headaches, mental and physical fatigue, and loss of concentration should be enough to convince anyone from skipping meals. There are also serious long-term effects that can stem from lack of proper nutrition, including obesity, high blood pressure, and heart disease."