Do the Childfree Eat Healthier?
The British government recently did a study on the eating habits of the English and found an interesting result—who was the group that ate more healthily than others? Couples with no children.
Why might this be? Here are three possible theories. Those without kids:
-have more time to shop, prepare and enjoy their meals
-have more disposable cash thus able to afford healthy but more expensive foods
-don’t face pressures from those darling faces to buy what they know is not good for them.
While these might be true, holes can be shot in each of them. There is a stereotype that those with no kids have lots of free time. This may be true for some, but certainly not for all. Lots of people with no children have demanding jobs, and slews of responsibilities that keep their calendars very full. They too may very well be short on time to shop, prepare and eat their food.
There is also a myth that those with no children have more cash than parents. People without kids come from all walks of life, all socioeconomic levels. Especially in today's times, having kids or not does not predict income level. One reason people are childless is that they realize their income won't support what it takes to raise a child. Parents or not, there are ways to eat healthily and not spend an arm and a leg. As just one example, buying in bulk--it is one of most cost effective ways to purchase many food items.
True, the childfree don’t have the pressure of that cute little face looking up at them from the grocery cart asking, “Can I have just one?” However, all people, with kids or not, are bombarded with advertising that pushes sugar, processed foods, junk food, supersizing, and easy eating on the run. We all walk down grocery aisles that can tempt us to buy what we know is not good for us. We are all exposed to messaging that does not encourage moderation of sweet and fatty foods. It takes discipline not to throw the that second bag of chips in your cart (and buy them baked, not fried in hydrogenated oils).
The bottom line is eating healthily means making it a priority-kids or not. If we don’t eat as healthily as we’d like, something else is of higher priority. The question is: What are we making more important than eating healthily? Is this really what we want to make more important, when it comes to nutrition for ourselves and in the case of parents, their kids?