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Who Has Time to Cook? How Family Resources Influence Food Preparation

Who Has Time to Cook? How Family Resources Influence Food Preparation

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Published by Ann Cook
By Lisa Mancino and Constance Newman

Economic Research Report No. (ERR-40) 25 pp, May 2007

Households participating in the Food Stamp Program are increasingly headed by a single parent or two working parents. As this trend continues, more low-income households may find it difficult to allocate the time needed to prepare meals that fit within a limited budget and meet dietary requirements. Using Tobit analysis of the 2003-04 American Time Use Survey (ATUS), this study finds that household time resources significantly affect how much time is allocated to preparing food. In fact, working full-time and being a single parent appear to have a larger impact on time allocated to food preparation than an individual’s earnings or household income do. The results are relevant for the design of food assistance programs as well as for improving our understanding of how different family time resources affect consumption behavior.
By Lisa Mancino and Constance Newman

Economic Research Report No. (ERR-40) 25 pp, May 2007

Households participating in the Food Stamp Program are increasingly headed by a single parent or two working parents. As this trend continues, more low-income households may find it difficult to allocate the time needed to prepare meals that fit within a limited budget and meet dietary requirements. Using Tobit analysis of the 2003-04 American Time Use Survey (ATUS), this study finds that household time resources significantly affect how much time is allocated to preparing food. In fact, working full-time and being a single parent appear to have a larger impact on time allocated to food preparation than an individual’s earnings or household income do. The results are relevant for the design of food assistance programs as well as for improving our understanding of how different family time resources affect consumption behavior.

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Published by: Ann Cook on Dec 02, 2008
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United StatesDepartmentof Agriculture
EconomicResearchServiceEconomicResearchReportNumber 40
Who Has Time To Cook?
Lisa MancinoConstance Newman
How Family ResourcesInfluence Food Preparation
May 2007
 
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You can find additional information about ERS publications,databases, and other products at our website.
Visit Our Website To Learn More!National Agricultural LibraryCataloging Record:
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all itsprograms and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age,disability, and, where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parentalstatus, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal,or because all or a part of an individual's income is derived from any publicassistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Personswith disabilities who require alternative means for communication of programinformation (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA's TARGETCenter at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).To file a complaint of discrimination write to USDA, Director, Office of CivilRights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call(800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD). USDA is an equal opportunityprovider and employer.
Photo credit: DigitalVision and PhotoDisc.
Mancino, LisaWho has time to cook? : how family resources influence food preparation.(Economic research report (United States. Dept. of Agriculture.Economic Research Service) ; no. 40)1. Cookery—United States.2. Food consumption—United States.3. Time management—United States.4. Socioeconomic status.5. Food relief—United States.I. Newman, Constance.II. United States. Dept. of Agriculture. Economic Research Service.III. Title.HV696.F6
 
United StatesDepartmentof Agriculture
www.ers.usda.gov
AReport from the Economic ResearchServic
Who Has Time To Cook?
How Family Resources InfluenceFood Preparation
Lisa Mancino and Constance Newman
Abstract
Households participating in the Food Stamp Program are increasingly headed by a single parent or two working parents. As this trend continues, morelow-income households may find it difficult to allocate the time needed to prepare meals that fit within a limited budget and meet dietary require-ments. Using Tobit analysis of the 2003-04 American Time Use Survey(ATUS), this study finds that household time resources significantly affecthow much time is allocated to preparing food. In fact, working full-time and being a single parent appear to have a larger impact on time allocated tofood preparation than an individual’s earnings or household income do. Theresults are relevant for the design of food assistance programs as well as for improving our understanding of how different family time resources affectconsumption behavior.
Keywords:
Food preparation, Tobit analysis, time use, Thrifty Food Plan
Acknowledgments
The authors greatly appreciate the thoughtful review suggestions fromCharlene Kalenkoski, David Ribar, Andrea Carlson, Mark Lino, andDean Joliffe. We also thank Linda Hatcher and Anne Pearl for editorialand design assistance.
EconomicResearchReportNumber 40
May 2007

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