You report that, based on National Statistics' figures, "consumers are now spending more money on eating out than on meals at home".

Despite the growth in eating out over the past ten years, this is simply not so and National Statistics seems to have based its conclusions on a misinterpretation of its own figures.

To take just one example, the official figures include all hotel board and lodging as part of eating out.

But the eating out element of an overnight stay is only a small proportion of the total hotel bill.

The truth is that, according to several studies carried out by Horizons jointly with other organisations, the eating out market was valued at £35.8bn in 2005, not the £87bn that is claimed by National Statistics.

And we calculate that eating out accounts for 31% of the total eating out and at-home market.