A new study has shown that 90 percent of Kiwis want to change the way they eat but say they are too time poor or don’t have the willpower to do so.

The study investigated the dietary habits of more than 1000 New Zealanders with a staggering 83% of respondents saying they are unhappy with the way they eat.

A further 90% said they wanted to eat more vegetables, snack less or cook more balanced meals but 70% of those surveyed said they were unable to make improvements to their diet due to a lack of time, inspiration or sheer willpower.

The study conducted by meal-kit provider HelloFresh, showed that it was often life-changing events such as; retiring, having a baby and moving in with a partner that had an effect on dietary habits.

One in four new parents said they had no time for balanced eating habits, with many turning to less healthy alternatives such as sweets (36%) and fried and fatty food (17%), some parents also turned to carbs at (36%).

Parents said they were also forced to eat at irregular times saying they felt more stressed and depressed, with those saying the increased intake of sugar, fried and fatty foods made them more lethargic.

The study also showed that new parents gained weight with both increasing their girth at an equally high rate.

Along with new parents, those most likely to suffer from poor food choices were Kiwis who had recently split with a partner, with many opting to eat sweets, fatty or fried foods.

The newly single also struggled to find a regular and healthy eating routine, with 43 percent of those saying they cooked less than two times per week as a result of their new-found status.

Eleven percent of women tended to gain unwanted weight during this time while men tended to lose weight according to the research.

Retiring or finding ourselves with an empty-nest had helped 41% of Kiwis make healthier choices opting to eat more fruits and vegetables and a further 30% saying they prepared more balanced meals.

An empty-nest or retirement also meant respondents had more time to focus on their own needs and food habits with 24% of respondents saying they willingly lost weight following retirement.

More than half of those surveyed also said they had more energy and felt happier after starting to eat more fruit and vegetables.

Young adults who had recently moved out of home also admitted poor food choices with seven in ten saying they only cooked one or two times a week following the shift, with two out of five turning to fried and fatty foods for sustenance.

A third of these young adults said they also ate at irregular times, ate out more frequently (33%) and also gained unwanted weight.

But there was good news for newlyweds – Kiwis who got hitched or had moved in with their partner improved their cooking and eating habits. While they also ate at restaurants they cooked more than before and prepared more balanced meals.

Half of those surveyed said they ate more fruits and vegetables and felt happier and more energised as a result.

Tom Rutledge CEO and founder of HelloFresh NZ says the research shows that major life events can have a significant effect on the way we eat and our dietary habits.

“Part of the role we play is to help Kiwis lead a healthier lifestyle by creating kits which allow them to make wholesome, homemade meals that spark their enthusiasm for better eating,” he says.

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