One in six young people eat fast food twice a day, according to a survey of the nation’s eating habits.

According to the BBC Good Food Nation Survey most people eat fast food on average on two days per week.

But in the 16 to 20-year-old category one in six ate fast food at least twice a day, with one in eight eating the same among 21 to 34-year-olds.

The BBC said that study of more than 5,000 people found that half thought “a meal isn’t a meal without meat”.

However, the same amount were unaware how much meat is a recommended daily amount.

The Department of Health advises an average of no more than 70g per day, which is the equivalent of two-and-a-half rashers of bacon, but nearly one in four think it is at least double that.

The survey found a fifth of men (21%) and 32% of 16 to 21-year-old men and women eat meat at least three times a day.

The typical adult now eats meat at least twice a day and has only six meat-free days a month.

Christine Hayes, brand editorial director of BBC Good Food, said it showed it was “easy to be confused about the amount of meat one can enjoy while still eating a healthy, balanced diet”.

She said: “Those who do eat meat can still cook a Sunday roast and eat the occasional steak when balanced with some meat-free dishes.”