Food for thought: High-earners ‘have the worst diets’


Earning a big salary is bad for your waistline – with those who pocket £45,000 a year among the unhealthiest wage bracket, it emerged yesterday.

A study of 2,000 Brits found bigger earners are more likely to see their waistline balloon amid a dizzy round of boozy lunches, nights out, take-aways and ready-meals. They are also more likely to smoke and avoid any form of exercise wherever possible.

By contrast the report also found the healthiest people are those earning a modest £16,000 salary, because they lack the funds to binge on booze and dine out.

Big business: High earners have the unhealthiest diets, according to research
Big business: High earners have the unhealthiest diets, according to research

Jennifer Irvine, founder of The Pure Package, a gourmet diet delivery service which commissioned the research, said: ”Regularly eating out at restaurants can take its toll on our waistlines.

”Those that earn well above the average national salary are perhaps more likely to throw caution to the wind and go for a couple of drinks after work or eat out during their lunch hour rather than make a healthy packed lunch.

”There is a perception that people on lower incomes have a poor diet, but these findings shows that having a higher disposable income does mean things like alcohol, takeaways and cigarettes are well within reach.

”Some jobs do entail a lot of client schmoozing which primarily revolves around eating and drinking which will cause us to gain weight. This is why we are seeing an increase in clients who want to eat healthy, delicious food that’s convenient for their lifestyle.”

The study also revealed Brits in the £45,000 salary bracket enjoy an average of three boozy lunches at work each month, and sup an alcoholic drink two lunchtimes each week. Almost one in ten regularly head to a restaurant for an unhealthy meal during their lunch hour, while another 21 per cent tuck into a fat-filled sandwich. Almost one in twenty even admitted their typical lunch hour saw them devour a curry from their local takeaway.

Once they get home from the office they then enjoy a beer or wine three evenings and munch on two takeaways and ready meals each week. In comparison, those who earn a salary of £16,000 have just one indulgent work lunch a month and have an alcoholic drink less than once a week during their lunch hour. And just two evenings a week are spent relaxing with an alcoholic drink, while a takeaway or ready meal makes up dinner just once a week.

The study also found that Brits earning a £45,000 salary are also more likely to be smokers, with more than three quarters admitting to having at least one cigarette a day. But less than half of those earning £16,000 have a cigarette habit. Exercise is also a struggle for high earners, with almost four in ten admitting they avoid all exercise, while just 15 per cent of those earning a lower wage said the same.

Researchers found that half of those earning £45,000 admit their large salary allows them to spend more on alcohol and cigarettes, as well as splurge more on unhealthy takeaways and large meals in restaurants. And another 43 per cent reckon their lifestyle has gotten less healthy as their salary has increased over the years.

Jennifer Irvine added: ”The research is reflected in what we are hearing from our clients and sometimes earning a healthy salary and enjoying numerous corporate lunches isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.”

”If you are watching your weight and trying to diet it’s always best to go for a healthy option on a menu or prepare your own packed-lunch for the office.”


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