Guess who's cooking? The role of men in meal planning, shopping, and preparation in US families

Lisa Harnack, Mary Story, Brian Martinson, Dianne Neumark-Sztainer, Jamie Stang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


Objectives: To determine the role of men in meal-related tasks in households with both a male and female head, and to identify households in which the man is more likely to be involved in these tasks. Design: Data collected as part of the US Department of Agriculture's 1994 Continuing Survey of Food Intakes of Individuals were analyzed. Subjects/setting: All analyses were restricted to sampled persons who were identified as a male head of household residing in a household that also had a female head (N=1,204). Statistical analyses: Frequency distributions were calculated and logistic regression analyses were conducted. Results: Approximately 23%, 36%, and 27% of men reportedly were involved in meal planning, shopping, and preparation, respectively. Men in lower income and smaller households were more likely to be involved in each of the meal activities. Younger men and men in households in which the female head of household worked full-time were more likely to be involved in meal planning and preparation. Implications: Current education efforts to improve family nutrition tend to target the female rather than the male head of household. Our findings confirm that this focus is appropriate for most dual-headed households.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)995-1000
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Dietetic Association
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1998

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