Move over ‘The Walking Dead’, Americans are the real ‘zombie eaters’, according to new research.
A poll of 2,000 Americans examined their eating and snacking habits, discovering that the majority (88 percent) are ‘zombie eaters’ – admitting to looking at screens while eating, from their TVs to their phones and laptops.
In fact, the average American studied will look at their phone more than two separate times during a single meal. On top of that, the average American will only have five ‘screen-free’ meals a week.
The study, conducted by OnePoll in conjunction with Snack Factory® Pretzel Crisps®, examined the eating habits and behaviors of 2,000 Americans and found that 91 percent report watching TV while eating a meal or snack – with nearly half (49 percent) reporting that they do so regularly.
With the universal need to stare at a screen while chowing down, 83 percent of those surveyed revealed they’ve had their food go cold while deciding what to watch. And the downsides don’t stop there – 86 percent have found themselves so busy and preoccupied with their screens that they’ve forgotten to eat altogether.
“‘Zombie Eating’ is something most of us can relate to – we’re busy, we’re productive, and we’re constantly on the move,” says Syreeta Norwood, Senior Brand Manager, Pretzel Crisps. “At PretzelCrisps, we know the importance of having a snack that you can enjoy in whatever way works best for you, no matter your schedule – from exploring unexpected dips, spreads and toppings, to taking a bag on-the-go to enjoy during your busy life.”
Americans often have jam packed schedules, requiring them to be glued to a screen. So what are they up to in the virtual world? The number one thing Americans do on their phones while eating is sending and reading emails (50 percent).
But, that’s not all that they’re doing on their devices as they try to enjoy their meals and snack time. Forty-eight percent scroll through or post on social media, while 37 percent watch YouTube videos. An additional 36 percent of those surveyed reported conducting work-related activities on their phones when eating.
And the ‘zombie eating’ movement isn’t just impacting when and how we’re snacking – being so busy also has an impact on where we’re eating. It’s a reason why 67 percent of Americans are eating at their desks while working instead of taking an actual lunch break. In fact, 22 percent report eating their lunch at their desks often – the average respondent reported eating three meals a week sitting at their desk.
It’s no wonder then, that for the average American, only three meals a week are eaten at the kitchen table.
Instead of the traditional kitchen table, Americans are choosing to eat either on the couch (79 percent), standing at the kitchen counter (64 percent), on the floor (48 percent), or in bed (61 percent).
With all the ‘zombie eating’ and twists on the traditional ‘kitchen table,’ it’s no surprise that over a quarter of those surveyed (26 percent) graze throughout the day – eating smaller portions frequently and avoiding any big meals.