NEW YORK, Feb. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Reportlinker.com announces that a new market research report is available in its catalogue: Cooking & Eating Habitshttp://www.reportlinker.com/p01093057/Cooking--Eating-Habits.html#utm_source=prnewswire&utm_medium=pr&utm_campaign=Food Executive SummaryThis Key Note Market Assessment analyses consumer cooking and eating habits which have emerged over the past few years, as well as trends that are likely to arise in the near future. Key issues discussed include lifestyle; ethnicity; the environment and sustainability; food supply and the food chain; religious and cultural beliefs; celebrity culture and the media; and awareness of diet and health-related issues surrounding food. The increasing number of people now leading busy lives, juggling work commitments, leisure and family time, has had a significant effect on cooking and eating habits in recent years. This has resulted in rising demand for convenience food products, such as snacks, pre-prepared food packs and convenience meals, which allow consumers to prepare and cook food in a quick and easy manner, with little effort involved. Consequently, mealtimes have become increasingly fragmented, with many consumers eating on-the-go and in informal settings or at unusual times. Traditional dinner formalities, which usually involved families sitting round the dinner table together eating food prepared by mums, has become considerably less prevalent and many families now eat at much later times in the evening, often in front of the television and separate from each other. The added reliance on convenience has also driven demand for fast food and casual dining experiences within the restaurant sector, which have also become more popular following the ongoing economic instability in the UK; as such, dining establishments are often cheaper or offer discount meals at reduced prices. However, this increasing reliance on convenience food products, along with the rising popularity of fast food, is one of the factors thought to be contributing to the high levels of obesity currently affecting the UK, with around 60% of the population now estimated to be either overweight or obese, according to the most recent figures published by the National Health Service (NHS). The growing concern regarding obesity, along with the health problems that the condition often causes, such as diabetes type 2, heart disease and stroke, high blood pressure and, in some cases, cancer, has resulted in the introduction of a number of Government-led initiatives to tackle obesity. These have included continued investment in the Change4Life scheme, which provides advice and tips on healthy diets and exercise; the implementation of the Public Health Responsibility Deal in 2011, which urged food operators to sign up and pledge to reduce salt, sugar and fats, and introduce calorie labelling on their products; and the continued efforts by the Government to improve school meals in order to provide healthier and more nutritious meals to schoolchildren. The growing concern regarding obesity has also boosted consumer demand for healthier food products, particularly healthy snack and convenience meals. This trend is expected to continue well into the future, with food manufacturers and retailers likely to step up their investment in developing healthier food products and pre-prepared meals.The ongoing financial difficulties currently being experienced in the UK have also had a significant impact on cooking and eating habits in recent years, with many consumers now opting for value or own-brand products in a bid to save money and reduce household expenditure. Consequently, supermarkets have invested significant amounts in their private-label product lines, which have become increasingly sophisticated in recent years in response to demand for foods which provide value for money. The restaurant market has also responded to growing consumer demand for cheaper meal options by introducing discount vouchers or meal deal offers, while fast-food chains have continued to remain popular due to their cheap menu offerings.