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The habits Brits want to quit most

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The habits Brits want to quit most

Fast food ranks first, with 41% more Brits seeking to stop eating fast food over quitting smoking…

A new study has uncovered the habits Brits are most keen on quitting, with eating fast food coming out on top. The study by Go Smoke Free analysed Google search volume for more than 820 search terms relating to habits that people most want to quit across UK cities, these included things such as smoking, drinking, playing video games, and watching porn.

The results revealed that people in the UK want to kick their fast food habit more than any other. Around 43,000 people ‘Google’ ways to quit this unhealthy habit every month. Quitting fast food is the habit that people living in London, Bristol and Nottingham want to break most.

This indicates that many Brits may be eager to ditch fast food and embrace a healthier lifestyle to mitigate the risk of diet-related health issues.

Smoking ranks second, accounting for 30,436 Google searches each month. With its well-documented health risks, smoking remains a major habit that individuals across the UK appear determined to quit.

The latest data from Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) indicates a consistent decline in the percentage of smokers nationwide, reinforcing the trend toward a smoke-free society. Quitting smoking is a habit that Liverpool, Coventry, and Bradford want to quit the most.

Video games rank third as a habit Brits most want to quit, with approximately 30,213 Google searches each month. Newcastle, Doncaster and Southampton contributed the most searches per 100,000 residents each month for ways to break their gaming habit.

This trend extends to watching game streams; March 2024 data from TwitchTracker highlights the lowest streamer-to-viewer ratio since December 2020, indicating a significant shift in viewer engagement over the past decade. In March 2024, there were 23.8 viewers for every streamer, compared to March 2014, which was 38.4.

Masturbation ranks fourth on the list of habits Brits are eager to quit, with approximately 20,093 searches each month across England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. This high level of interest in quitting suggests a significant concern among individuals about the impacts of excessive masturbation, which may include issues related to mental health and sexual dysfunction. Chelmsford and Slough searched for ways to break the habit more than any other.

Social media concludes the top five habits Brits are most eager to quit, with an average of 19,948 Google searches each month. Social media is the top habit to break in Leicester, additionally  Belfast, and Manchester have the highest numbers of monthly searches at 127 and 124 per 100,000 people, respectively. A recent survey from the University of Cambridge highlights this growing concern, revealing that 48% of British teens feel addicted to social media.

The bad habits the UK most wants to quit

Rank Bad habit Google searches (monthly average)
1. Fast food 42,943
2. Smoking 30,436
3. Video games 30,213
4. Masturbating 20,093
5. Social media 19,948
6. Snacking 19,533
7. Lying 19,043
8. Bullying 18,678
9. Watching porn 16,308
10. Chewing gum 12,772

Snacking ranks sixth with 19,533 Google searches each month, and lying comes in seventh with 19,043 monthly Google searches. Bullying takes the eighth spot with 18,678 monthly searches, and watching porn ranks ninth with 16,308 Google searches each month.

Chewing gum completes the top ten with 12,772 Google searches each month from people wanting to quit this habit.

A spokesperson from Go Smoke Free commented on the findings:

“Recognising triggers is key to effectively breaking free from unhealthy habits. Planning meals in advance can greatly help those struggling with fast food. Replacing detrimental habits, like excessive snacking, with healthier alternatives, such as drinking water, can also make a significant difference.

“For those not specifically aiming to reduce screen time, technology can still be beneficial. Utilising apps to track dietary habits and physical activity offers reminders and encouragement. Embracing gradual changes, rather than abrupt transformations, helps ensure these new habits are sustainable over the long term.”

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