A STUDY has revealed that typical Spanish working hours are far from healthy in terms of diet and finances – a third of employees in Madrid eat in bars and restaurants at lunchtime, and spend an average of 10.60 euros a day on food.
Given that more workers these days have a longer commute than a decade ago, most do not have time to return home for their three- or four-hour lunch break, meaning they have to hang around on the streets or in bars until it is time to go back to work.
With offices and shops shut from around 13.30hrs until 17.00hrs at least, and too far from home to get there and back comfortably and still have time to eat leaves over 33 per cent having to eat out – and they usually go for the 'cheap' option of a menu of the day, which tends to be meat without the two veg.
The survey, by the Ministry of Health, shows that most of those interviewed were not keen on fish dishes and that the most popular tended to be fillet of beef with a small amount of salad as garnish, usually with chips, bread, and followed by dessert.
Around a third of these people tended to wash their lunch down with full-sugar fizzy drinks instead of water.
The survey found that, whilst the 346 restaurants they studied offered a variety of health dishes made using fresh, locally-produced ingredients, the tendency was still to opt for the high-fat, high-protein and low fibre and carbohydrate dishes that involved meat and chips.
A total of 94 per cent of restaurants say they never use pre-cooked meals, but only 10 per cent were found to offer brown or wholemeal bread rather than white.