Men, Women, and Their Palate Preferences
Men Chose Chicken and Meat; Women Opt for Fruits and Veggies, Survey Shows
March 19, 2008 -- Vive le difference: when it comes to eating, men and women
seem to prefer different foods.
A new telephone survey of thousands of Americans shows that men are more
likely to eat meat and chicken, and women are more likely to eat fruits and vegetables.
Researchers talked to 14,660 American adults from May 2006 to April 2007. Of
the total number of respondents, 5,595 were men and 9,065 women.
In the survey, men were more likely to be meat and poultry eaters, enjoying
chicken, duck, veal, and ham. They also were more likely than women to eat
shrimp and oysters.
Women had a greater likelihood to eat vegetables, especially carrots and
tomatoes, and fruits such as strawberries and raspberries. They were also more
likely to eat almonds and walnuts.
There were some exceptions. Men were significantly more likely than women to
eat asparagus and brussels sprouts. Women were more likely to nibble fresh
hamburger, while men preferred frozen.
(Do you eat differently
than your mate? Compare and tell us what the differences are and what you
would like to change about his or her eating habits on WebMD's
Healthy Cooking: Elaine Magee, RD, message board.)
When it comes to eating foods that are high risk for food poisoning, women surveyed
were more likely to consume alfalfa sprouts, and men more often opted for runny
eggs and undercooked hamburger. No other significant gender differences were
noticed when it came to eating the risky foods. Researchers looked at six foods
considered high risk for food-borne illness:
- Pink hamburger
- Raw oysters
- Unpasteurized milk
- Cheese made from unpasteurized milk
- Runny eggs
- Alfalfa sprouts
Study authors say they hope the findings will help health educators come up
with quick solutions during outbreaks of food-borne illness.
"The reason we looked at consumption and risky behaviors was to see if
there was a statistically significant difference between men and women. And if
there is, this information could be used by health educators to target
interventions," said researcher Beletshachew Shiferaw in a news
Shiferaw added "there was such a variety of data, we thought it would be
interesting to see whether there were any gender differences. To our knowledge,
there have been studies in the literature on gender differences in eating
habits, but nothing this extensive."
The research was conducted by the Food Disease Active Surveillance Network.
The findings were presented at the 2008 International Conference on Emerging
Infectious Diseases in Atlanta.