Since the 1970's eating habits in Britain have undergone a change. People have been encouraged by doctors, health experts and government advertisements to eat less fat and more fiber. Fat is believed to be one of the major causes of obesity and heart diseases. Forty per cent of adults in Britain are overweight and Britain has one of the highest death rates due to cardiovascular disease in the world. Britons have also become more aware of calories, the energy value of food. Some people count the number of calories they eat every day, so that they can try to take in fewer calories and lose weight. Food manufactures have started to help the general public to make more informed choices about what they eat.
So the traditional British breakfast is bacon, eggs or sausages, preceded by fruit and followed by toasts. Britons may eat this breakfast at weekends or on special occasions but prefer a smaller and healthier meal to start a day. Lunch is a light meal and is eaten at school or work. Lunch takes about 40 minutes. Dinner is usually the main meal of the day and consists of two courses.
In recent years, foreign foods have become a regular part of the British diet. Indian and Chinese dishes are particularly popular for evening meals. Take-aways became extremely popular. The traditional British take-away is fish and chips eaten with salt and vinegar and served in an old newspaper.
The British are famous forr their love of sweet things and afternoon tea with sandwiches; scones, jam and several kinds of cake, was once a traditional custom. Most working people don't have tea as an afternoon "meal", but they do have a short break in the middle of the afternoon for a cup of tea. Tea is often also drunk with lunch and dinner.