Why more Britons are giving turkey the cold shoulder at Christmas

More than 40% of households will eschew the traditional turkey dinner this festive season with at least 10% embracing a completely vegetarian Christmas Day .

Research commissioned by Whole Foods Market found that not only were people willing to be more adventurous with their cooking, concerns about the environment (23%), health (22%) and animal welfare (19%) were forcing people to question their dietary habits.

And with more than a quarter of people hosting someone who is vegetarian, gluten-free or vegan, alternatives to a heavy meat and dairy-based spread are on the rise.

Turkey has been the most popular Christmas Day main course since the start the start of the 19th century and despite its falling popularity 10 million of the birds will be consumed in the UK this festive season.

The move towards drinking less alcohol shows no sign of abating with almost half of those questioned (49%) admitting they will be either cutting back on their alcohol intake this Christmas or going completely alcohol free (23%).

Other aspects of the celebrations are changing too, with more than a third of people surveyed actively trying to cut the amount of waste they generate.

However the trend towards living a healthier lifestyle and saving the planet appears lost on the over 55s with 82% saying they will be sticking to the traditional Christmas Day menu.