Aside from “I’m bored,” perhaps the most constant complaint you’ll hear from a teenager is “I’m hungry.” Teens’ bodies are growing and always on the move; whether they’re playing school sports, acting in after-school plays, or doing fun stuff with their friends, they’re burning calories at a prodigious rate. No wonder they’re starving!
A survey sponsored by the frozen snack and appetizer brand FarmRich found that teens spend 135 hours per year thinking about food. That means that from the time they graduate eighth grade to their first year in college, the average teen spends 945 hours thinking about past, present, and future meals. That’s roughly 39 entire days!
The research sent via a press release— which was conducted by OnePoll and queried 2,000 households with teens aged 13 to 19 — also concluded that Facebook is the biggest online source of food inspiration for teens, and YouTube was a close second. (How could these sites not whet teen appetites when there are all those tasty food videos circulating around?) While teens snack two to three times per day, the study found that they don’t always like what they’re eating — the typical teen expresses dissatisfaction with a meal four times a month!
The top five snacks most devoured by teens are pretty much what you would expect: chips, fruit, pizza, frozen snacks, and yogurt. The top five meals requested by teens revealed some surprises: pizza, tacos, pasta, fried chicken, and steak. At a time when it seems like most everyone and every restaurant is headed towards more plant-based options, the teens are still craving meaty favorites like fried chicken and steak. However, roughly 9 percent of the teens in the study said that they were interested in or had tried a vegetarian diet, about as many as were interested in low-carb and low-fat approaches.
Teens think about food almost as much as The Daily Meal staff does. We could probably spend 39 entire days just thinking about 101 best food trucks in America.