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Millennials care more about healthy food than previous generations, study shows

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Millennials seem to pay greater attention to healthy food than other generations, according to a new study.

Nine out of 10 consider it to be one of the pillars of wellness, so much that 77 percent of millennials exclude from their diet what they think could be harmful.

The new findings echo several surveys and reports, namely “We are what we eat,” which Nielsen published in January 2015.

Beside being mindful about health in general, millennial consumers between the ages of 18 and 35 in the 59 countries the study considered value the ethical and ecological origins of food, followed by baby boomers (50-64), Generation X (35-49) and Generation Z (under 17). Older people over 65 don’t care about nutrition almost at all, the study found.

A 2016 graph by PwC shows the percentages of respondents eating healthily across age ranges.

Credit: PwC

As Ashley Lutz pointed out in a Business Insider article, even U.S. millennials are gradually abandoning fast and junk food and consuming food that is “fresh, less processed and with an inferior quantity of artificial ingredients.”

So, what millennials prefer when it comes to food is pretty clear. But a 2015 research by catering group Elior highlighted four other trends pertaining to millennials’ eating habits.

First, many young adults don’t have a regular alimentary rhythm. They skip breakfast two times per week on average and eat at variable hours. Second, they mainly opt for easy-to-prepare meals, both at home and away. For 42 percent of people interviewed for the study, the speed of service is the most important factor.

A good internet connection is also a fundamental factor for millennials at restaurants — 66 percent said it was important. But it seems like restaurants will be less frequented in the future. Another finding was that 91 percent of millennials love to cook, thus reducing meal outside in the coming years.

Even the way we have meals affects our health. Every nutrition expert, from Barry Sears to Walter Willett and Gillian McKeith, agrees that eating fast is harmful for digestion and metabolism. They also think having a meal is not only a time to nourish ourselves but also an occasion to “unplug” and put ourselves offline, thus recovering mental energy and enjoying what we choose to eat with the people sitting with us at the table.

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