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Time in Eating and Food Preparation among Single Adults

We investigate factors affecting the duration of eating and food preparation among adults in single decision-maker households. Eating time is differentiated into primary and secondary eating time and further differentiated by location: at home vs. away from home. We construct a simple theoretical model, based on Becker's household production approach, to motivate empirical equations for eating and food preparation time. Empirical analysis is performed using data from the 2006–2008 Eating and Health (EH) Module of the American Time Use Survey (ATUS). Higher food-at-home prices are found to be associated with more time in food preparation and primary eating at home. Higher fast food prices are associated with more time in food preparation and less time in primary eating at home. We conclude that food prices influence home production and time allocation decisions. We also find that low-income adults spend more time in food preparation and primary eating at home and are less likely to eat away from home than those with more income. The presence of children in the household is associated with more time in food preparation and less time in primary eating away from home. Public policies attempting to effect an increase in food preparation among low-income, single adult households with children may need to account for limited opportunities such households can have to acquire and prepare healthier foods when additional time is required.

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Paper provided by Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University in its series Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications with number 14-wp549.

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Date of creation: Jun 2014
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Handle: RePEc:ias:cpaper:14-wp549
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  14. Zhylyevskyy, Oleksandr & Jensen, Helen H. & Garasky, Steven & Cutrona, Carolyn E. & Gibbons, Frederick X., 2013. "Effects of Family, Friends, and Relative Prices on Fruit and Vegetable Consumption by African Americans," Staff General Research Papers 35560, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
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  29. Lin, Biing-Hwan & Guthrie, Joanne F., 2012. "Nutritional Quality of Food Prepared at Home and Away From Home, 1977-2008," Economic Information Bulletin 142361, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
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