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Similarity of food choices among young Finnish couples

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Background: Food choices do not remain stable over time. When young adults set up their own family, spouses have to adjust to a possibly different diet.Methods: In 1992, a total of 684 married, cohabiting or engaged couples filled in questionnaires on food habits and food-related activities as a part of the follow-up study ‘Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns’. Similarity in food choices was assessed as a percentage of pairs with exactly the same choices. Socio-demographic characteristics of couples with low or high resemblance in food habits were examined and the division of household tasks was described.Results: Similarity between spouses in nine food choice categories varied from 49% to 88%. Resemblance in food choices was higher among couples who had children and ate meals at home. When the couple had children and when the woman's educational level was low, women notably prepared the meals and did the food shopping. One-third of men took part in meal preparation and less than half of men shopped for food on weekdays either alone or with his spouse.Conclusion: Young couples share a similar diet to some extent. They seem to change food choices when children are born. Nutrition education should be directed at young couples to advise them to make the changes in their diet which promote their own and their children's health.

Keywords: food habits; food-related activities; young couples

Document Type: Original Article


Publication date: January 1, 1997


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