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The 1960s had Beatlemania, the 1980s had jazzercise, and 2018 is apparently the year of chicken nuggets.

According to recent British research, the almighty chicken nugget has been dubbed the symbol of the modern era.

On average, New Zealanders consume 43 kilograms of chicken nuggets each year – but there are underlying societal issues, Otago University Sociology Professor Hugh Campbell explained.

He told Three’s The Project the chicken nugget can be described “capitalism’s perfect food” of the 21st century.

It represents the wider issue of how little time some parents have to supply healthy food options for their children, Prof Campbell said.

Watch the video for the full The Project report.