Young people spend more on takeaways than any other age group because they don’t know how to cook

A BBC Good Food poll finds that the average 16 to 24-year-old knows how to cook only four recipes, as reported by The Telegraph.

Young people are saddling themselves with debt by spending more on takeaways than other age groups because they cannot cook, according to research.

A survey has revealed that 16-24 year-olds are spending an average of £63.65 a week on food, compared with a typical spend for all adults of £57.30.

Much of this cost comes from eating out and takeaways, the poll for the BBC’s Good Food magazine shows.

Despite earning the least, they spend £19.61 on takeaways compared with the adult average of £11.31 and £3.20 for over-65s.

Young people also spend an average of £28.26 eating in cafés and restaurants, while the typical spend among all adults is £17.22.

“We’ve got two generations now where primary cooking skills have been lost.”
Children’s food campaigner Henry Dimbleby

The poll of 5,000 adults found that the average 16 to 24 year-old knowshow to cook only four recipes, whereas an average adult will know six.

An astonishing 14 per cent of young adults also said they ate no fruit or vegetables at all.

Children’s food campaigner Henry Dimbleby, who co-founded the natural fast-food chain Leon, said the results were “depressing”.

“We’ve got two generations now where primary cooking skills have been lost,” he said.

“Learning to cook is so important. It’s very expensive if you don’t learn to feed yourself but it can also be a one-way ticket to a life plagued by diabetes and obesity.”

Jane Sixsmith, director of the food education charity Focus on Food, told The Independent: “There’s something about this generation which makes them know less about cooking. That might be just because it’s easier because of time, but also the availability and cheapness of ready meals.

“Sometimes we see an absolutely terrible low level of understanding about food and nutrition. You come across children who have never tasted broccoli before, or fresh sweetcorn.”

Christine Hayes, editorial director at Good Food, said: “To be able to cook four recipes from scratch isn’t too bad if you’re 16 to 24, because some may not have left home.

“I’m actually quite impressed. There are so many other things vying for our time, especially at that age, that being able to cook that much isn’t that bad. The fact that they’re spending more when they go out is interesting. While cooking can be quite a sociable thing, going out and eating with friends is what young people like to do.”

If you want to prove these results wrong and stand out as a fantastic young chef, please follow the link to our catering courses at The Sheffield College.

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