Brits watch TV for 38,000 hours and munch on 13,104 meals while glued to the screen

The average Brit spends 99 minutes a day in front of the telly, which equates to over four years during an average adult lifetime.

A survey of 2,000 adults revealed that their viewing choices are influenced by their current mood (52%), the length of the programme (47%) and the genre (47%).

Interestingly, 77% of viewers enjoy re-watching their favourite shows up to five times. The study also found that 83% of people like to munch on something while watching TV, with dinner being the most common meal enjoyed in front of the box.

Over half (51%) believe that eating food enhances their television viewing experience. The research was commissioned by U, UKTV’s new free streaming service, set to launch on 16th July.

In a unique collaboration, they teamed up with a food scientist to create a ‘TV Dinners for U’ restaurant, which offers a menu scientifically paired with a curated list of TV shows. The pop-up will open in London on Wednesday, July 17th.

Dr Stuart Farrimond identified five television genres to base his ‘TV Dinners’ menu on. He found that factual and real-life shows pair well with calming foods that support brain health and increase blood flow, such as salmon and beetroot, to alleviate the stress of watching.

Dr Stuart Farrimond identified five television genres to base his ‘TV Dinners’ menu on.
Meanwhile, crime dramas are best enjoyed with foods that evoke intrigue and concentration, like fajitas, beans, matcha and dark chocolate, to help viewers keep up with the action.Dr Stuart Farrimond identified five television genres to base his ‘TV Dinners’ menu on.

Comforting classics like EastEnders or The Bill are best enjoyed with familiar ‘comfort foods’ such as lasagne, tiramisu and a glass of red wine, according to Dr Stuart Farrimond. He stated: “The fact that TV dinners were invented in the 1950s is testament to how, for as long as televisions have been in our homes, we have eaten in front of them.”

He further added: “The combination of good food and a great TV show offers an immersive escape and a multisensory experience that Brits love to enjoy. By applying the latest flavour science research to the selection of TV shows, I have devised meals that, whether you’re watching a comforting classic or edge-of-your-seat crime drama, are designed to intensify and enhance the TV viewing experience.”

A staggering 93% of people admit to having dinner in front of the television. On average, a person will consume 13,104 meals while watching TV in their lifetime, doing so four times a week. This amounts to more than 208 million dinners being consumed in front of the telly each week.

Moreover, 36% of viewers have enjoyed a Sunday roast while watching their favourite shows. Even Christmas dinner is not exempt, with 19% admitting to eating their festive meal accompanied by onscreen entertainment. It also emerged that nearly half, 49%, will try to catch TV on their phone or tablet wherever they’re eating.

Penny Brough, spokesperson for UKTV, stated: “We’re a self-confessed nation of TV addicts, who love nothing more than watching our favourite shows during dinner. With our ‘TV Dinners For U’ restaurant, we’re taking this moment of enjoyment to the next level, combining U’s range of free content with a science enhanced food menu to create a first of its kind, immersive dining-viewing experience. After all, great quality television that people truly love deserves great foo

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