Washington: Researchers claim to have found out part of the reason why men are much less likely to eat their veggies than women.
In a new study, men were reported to have less favorable attitudes than women about the value of eating fruits and vegetables.
Men also said they had less control over their fruit and vegetable intake than women did.
The study showed that “men don’t believe as strongly as women that fruit and vegetable consumption is an important part of maintaining health,” study researcher John A. Updegraff, associate professor of social and health psychology at Kent State University in Ohio, said.
It also showed that “men feel less confident in their ability to eat healthy foods like fruits and vegetables, especially when they are at work or in front of the television,” he said.
The findings suggest that messages that are effective in encouraging women to eat more produce don’t work so well on men.
“It’s important to help men understand the importance of a healthy diet, as well as to develop confidence in their ability to make those healthy choices, whether it be at work or at home,” Fox News quoted Updegraff as saying.
In the study, Updegraff and his colleagues set out to look at whether an idea in psychology called “the theory of planned behavior” could explain what so many studies have shown - that men are much less likely than women to meet the daily recommendations for fruit and vegetable intake.
This theory looks at the link between people’s beliefs, and their behavior, Updegraff said, and the researchers looked at three beliefs that should motivate people to eat nutritious food: their attitudes toward fruit and vegetables, their feeling of control over their diet, and their awareness that other people want them to improve their diet.
The researchers used data from nearly 3,400 people gathered as part of the National Cancer Institute’s Food Attitudes and Behavior survey.
The survey, conducted in 2007, included questions aimed at measuring people’s attitudes, beliefs and behaviors regarding food.
About 40 percent of those surveyed were between 35 and 54 years old.
On the whole, the researchers found that women had more favorable attitudes toward eating fruits and vegetables.
For example, women were more likely to agree that if they ate plenty of fruits and vegetables every day, they would look better, and live a longer life.
Additionally, the researchers found that women reported greater confidence in their abilities to eat fruits or vegetables as a snack even when they were tired, really hungry, or around family or friends who were eating junk foods.