A History of the Ministry of Information, 1939-46



  1. 1. Informants were asked whether there were any foods of which more was eaten in their households than a year ago.

  2. 2. If the answer was “yes”, they were asked “What are you eating more of?” This question was left to be answered without prompting.

  3. 3. The second question was repeated, but in a different form: “Are you eating more or less of the following as compared with a year ago? - Bread, jam, milk, cakes, potatoes. If more of potatoes and bread, why?.” The “why” question was only asked for bread and potatoes. The other three foods wore mentioned so that the informant should not realize too early that the enquiry was mostly concerned with potatoes.

In asking these questions, one serious difficulty arose. A great number of informants were not at all sure whether the increase of consumption did occur during the past year, or whether it was not over a longer period. It is important to keep this fact in mind when reading the tables.

52% of the housewives in the sample said that they eat more of certain foods than they did a year ago.

41% did not think that their consumption of any food had increased.

7% did not think they could answer the question.

There is a slight age difference; fewer older people were now eating more of foods.

Table 1
Under 35 35-50 Over 50
% % %
Yes 59 55 41
No 33 37 52
N.A. 7 8 7
SAMPLE 578 880 795

The foods of which more was eaten were mentioned with the following frequency:

Table 2
Potatoes 30
Other vegetables 19
Fish, sausage, spam, etc. 10
Bread 7
Cheese 3
Breakfast cereal 3
Dried milk 3
Puddings 2
Cake 1
Jam 1
Others, including egg 7
Do not eat more of anything 41
SAMPLE * 2269

* Informants could give more than one answer.

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