Navigation Links
Parents' work-life stress hinders healthy eating

In a tight economy, with fewer jobs, many people end up working harder and sacrificing more to stay employed. A new study finds that one of those sacrifices is sometimes their own and their family's nutrition.

While prior studies have implicated working mothers in providing less healthy family food environments, this is one of the first studies of family nutrition to look at fathers in particular a population of urban fathers, who face higher rates of unemployment and under-employment. According to lead author Katherine Bauer, an assistant professor of public health and researcher at Temple's Center for Obesity Research and Education, the study is also one of the first to look at work/family conflict for both parents and to focus on families of adolescents.

Of the 3,709 parents of adolescents surveyed by the researchers many of whom were from a racial or ethnic minority group and lower income only 64 percent of fathers and 46 percent of mothers were employed full-time.

Mothers employed full-time "reported fewer family meals, more frequent fast food for family meals, less frequent encouragement of their adolescents' healthful eating, lower fruit and vegetable intake and less time spent on food preparation, compared to part-time and not-employed mothers," said Bauer. Meanwhile, the only difference among fathers by employment status was that full-time employed fathers reported significantly fewer hours of food preparation than part-time or not working fathers. However, regardless of employment status, mothers were spending more hours on food preparation than fathers.

When looking at the role of work-life stress, for both moms and dads greater stress levels appeared to interfere with healthful eating opportunities. For example, parents experiencing high levels of work-life stress reported having one and a half fewer family meals per week and eating half a serving less of fruits and vegetables per day, as compared to parents with low levels of work-life stress.

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.

"Our work underlined the need to take into account the competing pressures that so many families especially those that are lower income are experiencing," said Bauer. "There's a great need to help parents find realistic and sustainable ways to feed their families more healthfully while taking into consideration all of the stresses on parents these days."

She suggests that spouses, partners and teenagers chip in to help with grocery shopping and preparing and serving healthy family 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."

"Parental employment and work-family stress: Associations with family food environments" was recently published online in Social Science and Medicine. The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health.


Contact: Kim Fischer
Temple University

Related medicine news :

1. Childs Scoliosis Stresses Patients, Parents: Study
2. Parents - not TV - may determine whether kids are active or couch potatoes
3. Parents Fighting May Have Long-Lasting Effect on Kids
4. Parents Often Lose Sleep Over Childs Epilepsy, Study Finds
5. Parents are happier than non-parents, new research suggests
6. Pediatric epilepsy impacts sleep for the child and parents
7. Many Parents of Kids With Autism Dont Put Faith in Pediatricians
8. Study: Kids Who Sleep in Parents Bed Less Likely to Be Overweight
9. Friends Parents Can Sway Teens Odds for Drinking, Smoking
10. Parents poor math skills may lead to medication errors
11. A physicians guide for anti-vaccine parents
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... at the Radiology Society of North America (RSNA) annual meeting, being held November ... growth from 2014. Throughout 2015, the company has completed installations for Integrated ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... Holcomb – ... leading plastic surgery practices in Florida, is proud to announce that Dr. Joshua ... innovations giant Ethicon Inc., a Johnson & Johnson Company. , Ethicon is a ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... Insightra ... TIGR® Matrix Surgical Mesh technology for soft tissue repair in the US via ... a long-term resorbable surgical mesh intended to support and reinforce soft tissue for ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... ... TransPack Volume 6 features 30 customizable transitions created exclusively for use within ... with blur & drop shadow options. Utilize the controls in the inspector window ... the next with TransPack's easily customizable styles. , TransPack Volume 6 features ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... Workstation ... more than 30 HealthPostures’ dealers located throughout the United States, is OneStop Ergonomics. ... of corporate, industrial, manufacturing and government workers and organizational leaders that are introduced ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... Nov. 30, 2015  Novartis will demonstrate the strength ... th American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting. ... as well as supportive care, including key findings in ... cell therapies. The ASH Annual Meeting will be held ... Novartis Oncology . "We will be presenting ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... BOSTON , November 30, 2015 ... medicines directed at up to 10 G protein-coupled receptor ... PFE ) to research and develop potential new medicines ... targets across multiple therapeutic areas. --> Heptares ... development company and wholly-owned subsidiary of Sosei Group Corporation ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... TEL AVIV, Israel , November 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... EMITF ) ("Elbit" or the "Company") announced today that it ... Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) has approved ... behavioral disorders. --> --> ... presenting a non-invasive treatment alternative that combines two technologies: ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: