Men and women – differences when it comes to eating!

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Gender stereotypes still exist when it comes to shopping, soccer, and cars, but also when it comes to eating: Women supposedly love salad more, while men have a hard time giving up meat. What is it about gender-specific eating behaviour?

It’s not a cliché, but a fact that the two sexes have different values and ideas about what goes on the dinner plate every day. 40% of men are concerned with “nutrition,” while the figure for women is at least 60%. Accordingly, women are more consistent in implementing the rules for a health-conscious diet, for example, by eating vegetarian more often. At the same time, meat is much higher on the popularity scale for men. So the classically conventional attributes of “male – strong – meat-based” or “female – weak – plant-based” still seem to apply. However, this time-honoured framework is beginning to wobble badly today. Women still eat about twice as much fruit and vegetables, consume only half as much meat and drink less alcohol than their male counterparts. On top of that, they try more often to avoid sugar in their food and pay more attention to a low-carbohydrate “low carb” diet. But they don’t always seem to succeed in implementing this resolution because 29% of women overeat

sweet stuff. For men, the figure is 22%.

Men now also seem to be taking the wooden spoon into their own hands more often than ten years ago. In everyday life, however, women still attach more importance to preparing their meals as freshly as possible: A working woman cooks herself more often than her male counterpart to keep the composition of her food under better control. Accordingly, she also takes home-cooked meals to work more often, while men regularly get their supplies from canteens, kebab stands and the like. About half as many women as men visit fast-food restaurants.

Incidentally, the different dietary behavior of men and women seems to be the result of social conditioning rather than genetic predisposition. On closer inspection, the girls are trained to do without as early as childhood. The woman, who is still classically responsible for the household, consequently has more knowledge on the subject of “nutrition”. The influence of our society is also evident in the alcohol issue, for example through possible peer pressure in youth. A reduction to gender alone therefore does not seem sufficient. Perhaps in the future we should say goodbye to the cherished parameter of “gender” as a reason for different nutritional behaviour because the cause is more likely to be found in societal and social influences.

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