Three meals a day is a thing of the past as nearly three-quarters of Americans no longer eat a traditional breakfast, lunch and dinner, according to a new study.Research into the eating habits of 2,000 Americans found that the traditional breakfast, lunch and dinner meal structure is now followed by just 27 percent of people today.Busy, untraditional schedules and the desire for more variety throughout the day are some of the main reasons Americans are shifting away from a classic meal structure.
And impatience when it comes to more extensive meal prep and cooking, being constantly on the go, and health factors are also named among the biggest reasons for the classic meal structure to be abandoned.The research, conducted by OnePoll in conjunction with Farm Rich, found more and more Americans are opting for “snack meals” and smaller regular bites as a common alternative to three meals per day, with 86 percent revealing that they have replaced a traditional meal with a “snack meal.”
In fact, the trend toward eating snacks in place of a meat and three plate was clear. The average person surveyed was most likely to eat two meals and snack three times in a typical day.Cravings, fun, and enticing flavor offerings are the top reasons people consume snacks, with the average respondent eating five “snack meals” each week, and one in four describing their eating style as “little and often.”
The meal most often replaced with snacks? Lunch, with 49 percent of Americans. Whether at home or work, respondents of all ages showed their “peak snacking hours” to be between 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
The most common foods that make up a small-plate or “snack meal” are cheese, crackers, chips, veggies, meat proteins (like turkey slices), fruit, nuts, yogurt – followed by a variety of frozen foods/snacks such as mozzarella sticks, chicken nuggets, sliders, pizza bites and potato skins.