Working conditions impact family food choices.
|Article Type:||Brief article|
Choice (Psychology) (Analysis)
Food supply (Management)
|Publication:||Name: Human Ecology Publisher: Cornell University, Human Ecology Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health; Science and technology; Social sciences Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2009 Cornell University, Human Ecology ISSN: 1530-7069|
|Issue:||Date: Nov, 2009 Source Volume: 37 Source Issue: 2|
|Topic:||Event Code: 200 Management dynamics Computer Subject: Company business management|
|Geographic:||Geographic Scope: United States Geographic Code: 1USA United States|
The working conditions of parents in low-income families have a
significant impact on the food choices of the family, according to a new
study conducted by Carol Devine, a professor in the Division of
Irregular work schedules, long hours, job dissatisfaction, and lack of access to healthy foods lead parents to coping strategies such as eating take-out meals, missing meals, and serving prepared entrees. Ultimately, parents' choices impact their children's diets.
"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," Devine explained. "This situation may result in feelings of time scarcity, fatigue, and strain that leave parents with less personal energy for food and meals."
The study found that fathers who worked long hours or had non-standard 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. About a quarter of mothers and fathers said they did not have access to healthful, reasonably priced, or good-tasting food at or near work.
These challenges could be alleviated with worksite interventions such as improving access to healthy foods and adapting hours and schedules to give employees more time for healthy meals, Devine said.
The study appeared in the September-October 2009 issue of the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. Coauthors include Extension Associate Tracy J. Farrell, Research Aide Margaret Jastran, Associate Professor Elaine Wethington, and Professor Carole A. Bisogni. Also contributing to the study was Christine E. Blake, assistant professor at the University of South Carolina.
|Gale Copyright:||Copyright 2009 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.|