Sunday lunch disappearing as mothers open packets

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A family Sunday lunch could soon be a thing of the past as over half of mothers admit they no longer prepare and eat a meal with their families on Sundays.

Nearly all the women surveyed said they use pre-prepared foods, such as chicken nuggets, chips or pizza, when cooking for children.

Just 90 out of 2,000 UK mothers questioned said that their family never eats such foods.

The poll, conducted by the Government’s healthy living campaign Change4Life, found that, on average, children eat such foods twice a week.

Yesterday, new research was published highlighting links between processed meat and heart disease and cancer. The study, involving half a million people, found that over a typical follow-up time of 12.7 years, the risk of dying was 44 per cent greater for high processed meat consumers.

The Change4Life poll, released as part of a campaign to encourage families to cook from scratch, found that time pressures were stopping many mothers from cooking fresh meals and 71 per cent said they use convenience foods to save time.

Dietitian Azmina Govindji,of the British Dietetic Association, warned that many takeaways and processed convenience foods contain high levels of salt, sugar and saturated fat.