Recession cuts Nineties lunch hour to 32 minutes

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The Independent Online
The lunch hour is a thing of the past for most British workers, who now take half-an-hour or less for their meal break.

The recession has led to shorter and shorter lunchbreaks during the Nineties, according to a survey by a major catering firm. It shows that the typical working lunchbreak is 32 minutes, with 51 per cent of staff taking half-an-hour or less. About 14 per cent of workers are taking no time off for a lunchbreak.

This compares with a 1990 survey which showed that more than 60 per cent of workers took more than half an hour for lunch.

Hospital doctors are the poorest eaters, with 75 out of 100 saying they did not take an hour. The figure rose to 86 per cent among women doctors.

Hospital doctors also ate less than other workers. Some 38 per cent said they had just one meal during a typical working day and 71 per cent ate only a sandwich or filled roll.

Company directors said they often discussed business over lunch (49 per cent).

The survey, conducted in October by RSGB, looked at 1,000 workers, 100 hospital doctors and 100 company directors.