Brits think about food more often than what’s on TV, the football – and even sex.
A study exploring our relationship with food and snacking has revealed one in four dedicates more mental energy each day to their rumbling stomachs than their tasks at work.
And 37 per cent find food crossing their mind more often than sex, though this is truer for women than for men.
While one in two women dedicate more time to thinking about their next meal than their sexual desires, only one in four men can say the same.
Mike Lynch, Global Director, Oral Care Scientific Engagement at Johnson & Johnson, said: “This snacking trend is taking its toll on our oral health.
“Whether this be from healthy or unhealthy foods, bacteria in your mouth use the sugar to create acid that leads to erosion of tooth enamel, leaving teeth weak and vulnerable.
“It’s clear adults are concerned as 41 per cent worry that what they are eating affects their teeth, and 16 per cent of adults have had more than one dental issue as a result of their diet.
“If these habits continue, it could be very bad news for our mouths.”
Over the course of a typical day the average Brit reckons they dedicate one hour and 39 minutes to thinking about food.
This is most likely to be during the ‘Snacking Hour’ – when we give into our hunger and grab a bite to eat – which the research discovered is most likely to fall between 10am and 11am.
One in five Brits would even consider food and cooking as one of their key interests in life.
When it comes to snacking, one in five turn to the snack drawer just because they are feeling bored, and 18 per cent grab something to eat purely out of habit as they count down to their next full meal.
Understandably, dinner is the meal we dedicate the most brain power to, followed by lunch and breakfast.
Dinner is also the meal where 63 per cent of diners believe they consume the majority of their daily calorific intake.
But only one in seven believe they get their five portions of fruit and veg a day in their snacks and meals, and the average Brit eats as little as four pieces of fruit a week.
And 12 per cent don’t think they have ever eaten the full five a day in their lives.
Despite this lack of fruit and vegetables in their diet, 57 per cent of those surveyed believe they have generally healthy diets.
Only 13 per cent confess to having an unhealthy diet, even though three in 10 believe their diet has had an adverse effect on their general health.
It also emerged that 41 per cent have worried about how the food they eat might be affecting their teeth and dental health.
And 35 per cent believe they have experienced a dental issue as a result of their snacking habits.
Mike Lynch added: “Sleeping gives our teeth a break from a day of eating and drinking, making it a key part of the day to rest our mouths and strengthen our teeth; which is why we have launched Listerine Nightly Reset – a mouthwash to be used before and after sleep as part of a regular routine.
Listerine Nightly Reset helps to remineralize enamel for 6X stronger teeth compared to brushing alone*”
[*in a lab study]