The route to a man's heart is through his stomach, they say! Is that why the women are always in charge of the kitchen? Food for thought, of course! Meanwhile, what could be the route to good eating habits and consequently good health? Grab the attention of the lady of the house, says a new study.
Researchers from Newcastle University's Human Nutrition Research Centre embarked on a study of almost 200 British men and women, who were on the right side of 30. The study revealed, despite men entering the kitchen and even sprucing up some food, a woman still had the last word during shopping for food products, and is still the undisputed leader of the kitchen.
Lead author, Dr Amelia Lake, a Newcastle University research fellow, was rather taken aback with the inferences of the study. In her assessment, the conventional role of a woman, about decisions on food products, and steering the family to eat healthy, still remained a woman's prerogative. In majority of the households the stereotype role of a woman existed, either subtly or overtly, researchers opined.
"Women have made great progress in terms of equal opportunities over the last few decades so it surprised us to find that many women, even in this relatively young age group, assumed the traditional female role of chief cook and food shopper." she said.
The reasons attributed were - some women thought they had more time on their hands. While a few felt their husbands always lost track of priorities with a tendency to indulge in frivolous purchases. Some felt that women were good at planning and budgeting, with a pulse on their family's preferences.
Dr Lake, a registered dietician, said, "One reason for our findings could be that many of our study participants grew up in households that were traditionally structured, with their mothers in charge of most domestic duties. With this as their key reference point, our study couples perhaps easily conformed to gender stereotypes. This work shows how important it is to consider the role of women when developing health intervention policies. Health professionals should also consider this when giving advice on healthy lifestyles and eating."
So, what's the moral of the story? If it's about food, ask your lady. She has the last word!