Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Parents' Stress Impacts Healthy Eating

Fewer jobs in this tight economy have caused many families to work harder and sacrifice more to stay employed and make ends meet.  A recent study by Temple University looks at the family unit—dads included. 

Katherine Bauer was the lead author in the study and she is currently an assistant professor of public health and researcher at Temple's Center for Obesity Research and Education.  This study is one of the first to assess work/family conflict for both parents.  It primarily focuses on families of adolescents.

Mothers who are employed full-time had fewer family meals, increases in fast food, and encouraged healthy eating less.  Mothers were also spending more time on meal preparation than fathers.  This also contributes to the family unit having fewer meals together when both parents are facing stress from work. 

Science Daily reported “Bauer noted that over time these differences can add up to have a big impact on parents' and children's health. She's careful to note, however, that the burden of this problem not fall solely on mothers, and instead be approached holistically by the whole family, the community and society.”

The study encouraged spouses/partners and teenagers to help with grocery shopping, meal preparation, and planning healthy meals.
"We need to teach kids how to cook," said Bauer. "We know if kids have cooking skills and good eating habits, not only will they be healthier, but as adults they'll put those skills to use to feed their own children more healthfully."

Please read the full-article here

Temple University (2012, June 22). Parents' work-life stress hinders healthy eating.ScienceDaily. Retrieved June 27, 2012, from­/releases/2012/06/120622162818.htm

Gina Lesako RD, LDN, registered dietitian, writer/blogger.  Follow Gina on Twitter @glesako; 
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