Title

Time in eating and food preparation among single adults

Campus Units

Economics, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development

Document Type

Article

Publication Version

Submitted Manuscript

Publication Date

2014

Journal or Book Title

Review of Economics of the Household

First Page or Article ID Number

1

Last Page

34

DOI

10.1007/s11150-014-9258-5

Abstract

We investigate factors affecting the duration of eating and food preparation among adults in single decision-maker households. Eating time is differentiated into primary and secondary eating time and further differentiated by location: at home versus away from home. We construct a simple theoretical model, based on Becker’s household production approach, to motivate empirical equations for eating and food preparation time. Empirical analysis is performed using data from the 2006 to 2008 Eating and Health Module of the American Time Use Survey. Higher food-at-home prices are found to be associated with more time in food preparation and primary eating at home. Higher fast food prices are associated with more time in food preparation and less time in primary eating at home. We conclude that food prices influence home production and time allocation decisions. We also find that low-income adults spend more time in food preparation and primary eating at home and are less likely to eat away from home than those with more income. The presence of children in the household is associated with more time in food preparation and less time in primary eating away from home. Public policies attempting to effect an increase in food preparation among low-income, single adult households with children may need to account for limited opportunities such households can have to acquire and prepare healthier foods when additional time is required.

JEL Classification

D12, D13, Q18

Comments

This is a working paper of an article from Review of Economics of the Household (2014), doi: 10.1007/s11150-014-9258-5.