Public Health Nutrition

Research paper

The influence of gender, age, education and household size on meal preparation and food shopping responsibilities

Lee A Flagga1, Bisakha Sena2, Meredith Kilgorea2 and Julie L Lochera3 c1

a1 Department of Sociology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, USA

a2 Department of Health Care Organization and Policy, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, USA

a3 Departments of Medicine and Health Care Organization and Policy, University of Alabama at Birmingham, CH19 218F, 1720 2nd Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 35294-1152, USA

Abstract

Objective To examine the extent to which the gendered division of labour persists within households in the USA in regard to meal planning/preparation and food shopping activities.

Design Secondary analysis of cross-sectional data.

Setting 2007–2008 US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

Subjects Sub-sample of 3195 adults at least 20 years old who had a spouse or partner.

Results Analyses revealed that the majority of women and men reported they shared in both meal planning/preparing and food shopping activities (meal planning/preparation: women 54 % and men 56 %; food shopping: women 60 % and men 57 %). Results from multinomial logistic regression analyses indicated that, compared with men, women were more likely to take primary responsibility than to share this responsibility and less likely to report having no responsibility for these tasks. Gender differences were observed for age/cohort, education and household size.

Conclusions This study may have implications for public health nutritional initiatives and the well-being of families in the USA.

(Received March 04 2013)

(Revised May 29 2013)

(Accepted July 24 2013)

Keywords

  • Meal preparation;
  • Food shopping;
  • Family roles

Correspondence

c1 Corresponding author: Email jlocher@uab.edu

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