Are you eating lunch today?

It might seem like a silly question, but apparently, new research has found that one in three Australian adults don’t have lunch every day.

The research shows that while a third of Australians skip having lunch at least once a week, roughly the same proportion eat lunch at their desks and for 1 in 10 of us, lunchtime is just another hour in which to work.

“Missing lunch on a regular basis can mean not just short term impacts like reduced energy and fatigue in the afternoon, but knock-on effects like grabbing unhealthy snacks and overindulging at dinner – bad habits which can lead to weight gain, slowed metabolism and increased risk of chronic lifestyle diseases,” nutritionist Kate Di Prima says.

“Lunch tops up low blood sugars that have been used up from breakfast and morning tea, making you more alert and productive for the rest of the afternoon. If you’re feeling sluggish, eating even a small lunch can renew your energy and help you feel refreshed and ready to tackle the hours of work in the afternoon,” she says.

Worryingly, of those Australians who do eat lunch, 88 per cent are concerned they are not eating healthily, and more than seven in ten felt their lunch wouldn’t contribute to their daily “2&5” requirement – that’s two serves of fruit and five serves of veggies. When buying lunch, one in four admitted to opting for burgers and fries, chocolate bars and chips as their main meal – sometimes more than once a week.

“It’s troubling because the research found it’s younger people – those in the 18 to 34 age bracket – who are more likely not to eat their daily 2&5,” says Di Prima.

“Unfortunately I think it’s due to our changes in lifestyle – people who don’t eat lunch are probably facing time pressures with work or study, and either forget to eat or simply don’t get the chance. This age group also tends to be juniors in the workforce, who often put in more hours and forgo breaks to prove themselves early on in their careers. Many of them have also just left home and perhaps have been used to their parents providing lunch and other meals for them, which are skills that need to be learned.

“Lunch helps keep your metabolism active and reduces the cravings your body feels from fasting. You need to combine complex carbohydrates, lean protein and nutrients from salad vegetables to form a concentrated, long-lasting source of energy – this is the best thing you can do for your body at lunch time”

So, do your body a favour and make sure you have a healthy lunch, whether its something from home, or something from the Bakehouse, as long as it’s healthy and tasty then you’re doing the right thing.