Six in ten Brits would support new taxes on unhealthy food and drinks as a way of motivating them to lead healthier lifestyles, new research from Mintel reveals.

The nation’s young shoppers are the most likely to suffer from a lack of motivation to adopt more healthy habits.

With 49% of the 2,000 respondents admitting they simply “can’t be bothered” to eat more healthily or do more exercise, raising prices would spur them on to follow healthy habits more often, they said.

Young women aged between 16 and 24 are the most likely to blame a lack of motivation for not being as healthy as they could be, with 57% admitting they are not leading more healthy lifestyles for this reason.

This is in stark contrast to the nation’s over-65s, just 21% of whom agree lack of motivation is a contributing factor to not following a healthy lifestyle more often.

The cost of eating a more healthy diet, when compared with cheaper “junk food” options, and a lack of time, also emerged as other key barriers to healthier lifestyles.

Emma Clifford, associate director of food and drink at Mintel, said: “The UK is facing an obesity timebomb and consumers recognise that decisive action is needed to combat this problem, even if it hits their pockets.

“Over six months after the soft drinks sugar tax was introduced and reports of a potential ‘pudding tax’ being considered, consumers are keen on the idea of taxing them in order to discourage unhealthy lifestyles.

“It is clear that consumers really want help in cutting through all the noise around healthy lifestyles, with more guidance in making healthier choices as well as rewards for doing so.”

The research also found that consumers would welcome more tips and advice on how to make small healthy changes to their lifestyles, with 65% of adults overall and 71% of under-45s saying this would appeal.

Consumers also want to be incentivised, with 63% of adults saying they would like brands to reward them for leading a healthy lifestyle, climbing to 76% of under-25s.