As obesity amongst younger people spreads, compulsory cooking lessons are back on the menu in the UK for pupils from September 2014. The news may represent a timely recipe for the health of the younger generation, as latest research from Mintel reveals just 30% of those aged 16-24 feel confident in the kitchen, compared to 39% on average of UK adults. What is more, 16% of those aged 16-24 perceive cooking as stressful, compared to 11% on average.
And despite the best intentions, it looks like parental love is not preparing the nation’s children to fly solo, with British parents continuing to play chef for their offspring… even when they live away from home. Almost one fifth (16%) of those aged 16-24 who live in a house or flat share continue to have their meals cooked for them by parents or guardians, as do 15% of those living in student accommodation.
The findings may reflect the lack of culinary experience of 16-24s in cooking using fresh, raw ingredients with just 27% of 16-24s cooking from scratch most days, compared with 54% of over-55s. What is more, over two thirds (68%) of 16-24s eat prepared meals (such as ready meals, pizza or soup) more than once a week.
And it also seems that washing up puts off Brits from cooking, with one in five (19%) adults choosing to cook a meal according to the amount of washing up its preparation generates.
And although women still do most of the cooking, with seven in ten (72%) having the main responsibility for preparing meals in the household versus five in ten (52%) men, it seems British men are challenging old-fashioned domestic roles. Indeed, 31% of men feel pride from cooking a meal (compared to 26% of women) and 23% feel adventurous (compared to 16% of women).