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Average British dinner lasts 21 minutes: survey

[LONDON] The average British dinner lasts just 21 minutes, according to a survey published Saturday which found increasingly busy schedules a barrier to eating together.

A total of 55 perc ent of families have a smartphone, computer or television present when eating together, according to the survey for supermarket chain Co-op Food.

People said increasingly busy lives and conflicting schedules got in the way of dinner.

A total of 57 per cent of respondents said they do not eat with their family every night.

Market voices on:

Around half of Britons would like to challenge the status quo, with 47 per cent saying they would like the have a meal at home or with family more often.

"Families continue to recognise the social importance of sharing food and identify eating together as an activity that most brings them happiness and a sense of togetherness," said Patrick Alexander from the Oxford-based Social Issues Research Centre.

"What eating together means, however, is changing. Screen time during mealtimes, for example, is now common for the vast majority of families," he added.

The survey found 20 per cent of households do not have a dining table.

A three-course meal at home is now very rare, with just 2 per cent of people preparing such a feast on a regular basis.

The poll was conducted by market research firm Opinion Matters, which quizzed 2,164 people over five days earlier this month.


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