Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Work Conditions Impact Parents' Food Choices

Date:
September 15, 2009
Source:
Elsevier Health Sciences
Summary:
How working parents cope with competing demands on their time that can compromise food choices for the family and how work conditions are related to food choice coping strategies are the subjects of a recent study. Findings suggest that better work conditions may be associated with more positive strategies such as more home-prepared meals, eating with the family, keeping healthful food at work, and less meal skipping.

Since most parents in the US are employed, there are competing demands on their time that can compromise food choices for themselves and their children. How parents cope with these demands and how work conditions are related to food choice coping strategies are the subjects of a study in the September/October issue of the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.

Findings suggest that better work conditions may be associated with more positive strategies such as more home-prepared meals, eating with the family, keeping healthful food at work, and less meal skipping.

Researchers from Cornell University measured food choice coping strategies in low- to middle-income families in five categories: (1) food prepared at/away from home; (2) missing meals; (3) individualizing meals (family eats differently, separately, or together); (4) speeding up to save time; and (5) planning. A three-part telephone survey of 25 employed mothers and 25 employed fathers or guardians from 3 racial/ethnic groups was used to evaluate food choice strategies.

Half or more of respondents often/sometimes used 12 of 22 food choice coping strategies and there were gender differences in the use of these strategies. Fathers who worked long hours or had nonstandard hours and schedules were more likely to use take-out meals, miss family meals, purchase prepared entrees, and eat while working. Mothers purchased restaurant meals or prepared entrees or missed breakfast. Job security, satisfaction, and food access were also associated with gender-specific strategies. About a quarter of mothers and fathers said they did not have access to healthful, reasonably priced, and/or good-tasting food at or near work.

Writing in the article, Carol M. Devine, PhD, RD, Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University, and colleagues state, "This study examined how work conditions are related to the food choice coping strategies of low- and moderate-income parents. Study findings will enhance understanding of social and temporal employment constraints on adults' food choices and may inform workplace interventions and policies…The importance of work structure for employed parents' food choice strategies is seen in the associations between work hours and schedule and food choice coping strategies, such as meals away from home and missed family meals. Long work hours and irregular schedules mean more time away from family, less time for household food work, difficulty in maintaining a regular meal pattern, and less opportunity to participate in family meals; this situation may result in feelings of time scarcity, fatigue, and strain that leave parents with less personal energy for food and meals."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Elsevier Health Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. C. Devine, T. Farrell, C. Blake, M. Jastran, E. Wethington, C. Bisogni. Work Conditions and the Food Choice Coping Strategies of Employed Parents. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 2009; 41 (5): 365 DOI: 10.1016/j.jneb.2009.01.007

Cite This Page:

Elsevier Health Sciences. "Work Conditions Impact Parents' Food Choices." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 September 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090909064719.htm>.
Elsevier Health Sciences. (2009, September 15). Work Conditions Impact Parents' Food Choices. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090909064719.htm
Elsevier Health Sciences. "Work Conditions Impact Parents' Food Choices." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090909064719.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) — Fears of Ebola are keeping doctors and patients alike away from hospitals in the West African nation of Guinea. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) — Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) — Now that the U.S. is restricting travel from West Africa, some are dropping questions about a travel ban and instead asking about visa bans. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
More People Diagnosed With TB In 2013, But There's Good News

More People Diagnosed With TB In 2013, But There's Good News

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) — The World Health Organizations says TB numbers rose in 2013, but it's partly due to better detection and more survivors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins