According to a study published in the Health Psychology journal, if men do eat healthy at home, it is at the insistence of their wives, and may indulge in junk food when away from home.
Men evidently aren’t consulted about the diet changes that are made and so men don’t feel the need to adhere to them, even if recommended by doctors.
Communication is the key to healthy family diets
Researchers found that when healthy menu changes were discussed amongst husbands and wives, husbands showed a greater willingness to adhere to the changes.
Researchers found that when healthy menu changes were discussed, the men were more likely to accept the change.
Men were un accepting of the changes even when was a medical reason for those dietary changes.
Apparently it was only to avoid conflict that they appeared to accept those dietary changes at home; even they did not find them palatable.
Without communication and discussion about the food, it may so happen that the guys head for an all you can eat orgy of food after some days of boring ‘healthy’ food.
Rather than being made to feel as though healthy food was being forced upon them, men needed to actually participate in the process of eating healthy; including when eating out.
Importance of men getting involved in healthy eating
There is the perception that eating healthy or eating small sized portions is somehow not quite manly. In fact another study bears this out: researchers found that men think of meat as being macho and salads or greens as being feminine. This was an analysis that psychologists carried out in 23 languages to see the metaphors and ideas that men connected with foods.
The analysis showed that masculine words tended to be associated with meat and that meat eaters were perceived as being manlier than non-meat eaters. Weak and wimpy are associations that men unconsciously form with healthier food habits.
This perception also needs to change, that vegetables are somehow ‘girlie’ whereas meat is somehow male. As some experts point out, men need to be aware that meat is linked to obesity and high blood pressure. Also ‘male’ problems such as erectile dysfunction are less likely to occur when men are vegetarians.