BRITONS eat their way through a mountain of crisps, nuts and snacks worth pounds 1.5bn a year - but fresh fruit is still the favourite way of beating hunger pangs.
One in three people chooses an apple, banana or other fruit when feeling hungry between meals, according to a report from Mintel market researchers.
Biscuits are the second most popular choice, followed by crisps, bread or toast, chocolate, sandwiches and cheese.
The report found Britain hooked on snacks, with sweet and savoury food between meals a firm part of the nation's diet.
Just 14 per cent of more than 1,000 people surveyed said they ate snacks as a substitute for proper meals, while most saw their snacks as 'fillers'.
Parents trying to persuade children not to eat between meals faced an uphill battle, as just 6 per cent of people said that they never ate snacks. Half of all those questioned said they ate snacks while watching television.