A History of the Ministry of Information, 1939-46



This survey was carried out at the request of the Ministry of Food. The report covers an investigation into the diet and food habits during a single day of certain selected groups of the working population of England and Scotland. The results presented are the summary of answers given during the period of interviewing, which was very limited, and therefore they cannot be taken as complete evidence of the eating habits of the groups under investigation. Such evidence would require repeated studies of the same type of sample over a period, in order to be complete.

The Ministry of Food needed information on the following questions:-

(1) What items of food were taken by members of the group under investigation during the day previous to the interview. (The results are intended to serve as a supplement to a quantitative investigation which deals with the meals eaten by individuals which measures food consumption of the working class taking the household as a unit.

(2) What are the subjective attitudes of these groups towards the food situation in general, and with what factors are these attitudes connected. What foods do people consider most important for their health.

(3) To what extent are canteens, British Restaurants and cafes used, how satisfactory are the available amenities, and what are the main causes for dissatisfaction.

(4) To what extent are packed meals taken to work, what are the reasons for doing so, and what are the food items these meals contain.

(b) A series of subsidiary questions which were as follows:-

  1. (a) The number of meals which include cornflour dishes.

  2. (b) The extent to which potato crisps and chips are eaten.

In accordance with this request, the results are presented in four sections and appendices.

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