Psychology Explains Why Guys Don’t Eat Vegetables

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Credit: Guy health food photo via Shutterstock

Psychology Explains Why Guys Don’t Eat Vegetables

Men areِ much lessِ likely toِ eat theirِ veggies thanِ women, andِ now researchers sayِ they knowِ part ofِ the reason why.
In a newِ study, men reported lessِ favorable attitudes thanِ women aboutِ the valueِ ofِ eating fruits andِ vegetables, andِ men alsoِ said theyِ hadِ less control overِ their fruit andِ vegetable intake thanِ women did.
It alsoِ showed thatِ men feel lessِ confident inِ their ability toِ eat healthy foods likeِ fruits andِ vegetables, especiallyِ when theyِ areِ at work orِ inِ front ofِ the television, heِ said.

Fruits and vegetables, and beliefs

In theِ study, Updegraff andِ his colleagues set outِ to lookِ atِ whether anِ idea inِ psychology called theِ theory ofِ planned behavior couldِ explain whatِ soِ manyِ studies haveِ shown — thatِ men areِ much lessِ likely thanِ women toِ meet theِ daily recommendations forِ fruit andِ vegetable intake.
This theory looksِ atِ the link betweenِ people’s beliefs, andِ their behavior, Updegraff said, andِ the researchers looked atِ three beliefs thatِ shouldِ motivate people toِ eat nutritious food: theirِ attitudes towardِ fruit andِ vegetables, theirِ feeling ofِ control overِ their diet, andِ their awareness thatِ otherِ people wantِ themِ to improve theirِ diet.
About 40 percent ofِ those surveyed wereِ betweenِ 35 andِ 54 years old.

Peer pressure doesn’t work

While theِ theory ofِ planned behavior isِ well-accepted among mostِ health researchers, theِ newِ study isِ the firstِ to useِ itِ to figure outِ why women consume moreِ fruits andِ vegetables thanِ men, Updegraff said.
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The findings suggest some fruitful avenues for improving men’s diets, he said.

What mightِ work bestِ is teaching men ways toِ takeِ control overِ their fruit andِ vegetable consumption, heِ said.
The study alsoِ suggested thatِ oneِ technique isn’tِ likely toِ getِ men toِ eat better: peer pressure.
It turns outِ that thisِ peer pressure isِ not a particularlyِ strong motivator, forِ eitherِ men orِ forِ women, Updegraff said.