Time for Change? – Food Choices in the Transition to Cohabitation and Parenthood

The aim of this study was to investigate if usual food choices differ between three different household types, and to explore developmental trends in food choices following a life event.

Comparison of different household types

A cross-sectional analysis was conducted to examine if usual food consumption differs between three different household types.

The household types were comprised of living alone, living in a two-adult-person household with a partner, and living in a two-adult-person household with a partner and children. Results indicate that women living in a family with children most frequently consumed the majority of all studied food groups.

They reported not only the highest intake of vegetables and a high salad intake, but they also consumed poultry, processed meats, sweet, high-fat foods and savouries most often, compared to women living in one of the other household types.

These findings appear to be well substantiated by the fact that children have an influence on the family´s purchasing behaviour in terms of sweets and snack foods. Increased eating cues triggered by the availability of the children’s preferred sweets in the household, and increased stress levels due to the requirements associated with a mothers’ social role, might tempt women to consume more sweets.

Men’s vegetable consumption was the highest when living with a partner (with or without children). Their meat consumption, except for poultry, and their consumption of sweets and savouries, did not differ significantly between household types.

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