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Manly Burgers, Feminine Salads: Does Gender Affect Our Diets?

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We all know the stereotypes: Men like pink meat and hefty parts. Women like salads and eat modestly, choosing delicately at their meals. Men prefer it spicy. Women prefer it candy.

Fries or fruit on the aspect? Men, we think about, could also be extra possible to decide on the previous, ladies the latter. Ditto when selecting between, say, wine or beer.

Whether or not there’s intrinsic fact in these cultural preconceptions about gender and meals, societal reinforcement of them might affect the choices we make about what we eat, the Washington Post suggests. What’s extra, the paper just lately posited, given the physique of analysis indicating that consuming plant, moderately than animal, proteins, is better for your health and longevity, that is probably not nice information for males.

One key challenge would be the means totally different meals are marketed to women and men, the messages despatched out by way of promoting and packaging, says Kerri-Ann Jennings, a registered dietitian and nutritionist who writes about meals and well being tendencies.

“For both younger men and women, the messages about food relate to appearance. For women, that usual translates more into ‘how do you eat to be lean and have healthy, glowing skin?’” Jennings tells Healthy Eats. “For guys, it might be ‘how do you bulk up?’”

Take for example, yogurt. Commercials aiming to succeed in a feminine viewers typically create “this sense that women crave sweets and need to ‘indulge,’” Jennings observes, concentrating on them with yogurts that sound each decadent and wholesome, a la “sugar-free cheesecake yogurt.” Men, in the meantime, could also be fed a message about power and energy and eat-it-with-a-fork thickness: Male-targeted yogurt manufacturers might have packaging that’s black and squared-off (assume: razor-blade advertisements), bespeaking masculinity.

“Men are ‘supposed to’ have hearty appetites. Women are often expected not to,” Jennings notes. “People think it’s worth commenting on when a woman has a hearty appetite.”

Awareness of how these gender expectations can affect our decisions and influence our lives, nevertheless, could also be step one in taking management of our diets and our well being. For males, particularly, the stakes couldn’t be greater.

In different phrases, scuttle the stereotype and maintain the fries, guys. And would a salad kill you? In reality, it might do exactly the other.

Amy Reiter is a author and editor based mostly in New York. A daily contributor to The Los Angeles Times, she has additionally written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Glamour, Marie Claire, The Daily Beast and Wine Spectator, amongst others, in addition to for Salon, the place she was a longtime editor and senior author. In addition to contributing to Healthy Eats, she blogs for Food Network’s FN Dish.


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