To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

Gender differences in taste and foods habits

Mauro Lombardo (Department of Human Sciences and Promotion of the Quality of Life, San Raffaele Roma Open University, Rome, Italy)
Giovanni Aulisa (Department of Human Sciences and Promotion of the Quality of Life, San Raffaele Roma Open University, Rome, Italy)
Elvira Padua (Department of Human Sciences and Promotion of the Quality of Life, San Raffaele Roma Open University, Rome, Italy)
Giuseppe Annino (Department of Medicine Systems, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Rome, Italy and Department of Human Sciences and Promotion of the Quality of Life, San Raffaele Roma Open University, Rome, Italy)
Ferdinando Iellamo (Department of Clinical Sciences and Translational Medicine, University of Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy)
Antonio Pratesi (Azienda ULSS n 2 Marca Trevigiana, Treviso, Italy)
Massimiliano Caprio (Laboratory of Cardiovascular Endocrinology, IRCCS San Raffaele Pisana, Rome, Italy and Department of Human Sciences and Promotion of the Quality of Life, San Raffaele Roma Open University, Rome, Italy)
Alfonso Bellia (Department of Systems Medicine, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Rome, Italy and Department of Human Sciences and Promotion of the Quality of Life, San Raffaele Roma Open University, Rome, Italy)

Nutrition & Food Science

ISSN: 0034-6659

Article publication date: 24 July 2019

Issue publication date: 22 January 2020

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine gender differences in food habits and food choices, including decisions in healthy eating, to personalize diet therapies to be as effective possible for long-term weight loss.

Design/methodology/approach

In this cross-sectional study, eating behaviours were assessed using a questionnaire composed of 12 questions concerning food habits, 17 concerning food taste, and four about healthy eating. There were 2,021 (1,276 women) Caucasian adults enrolled in the study.

Findings

Statistically significant differences in women compared to men occurred for the following questionnaire entries reading eating habits: whole grain food (10.0 per cent higher in women; p < 0.001); cereals such as barley (8.3 per cent higher in women, p < 0.001); cooked vegetables (6.6 per cent higher in women, p < 0.001); eggs (5.0 per cent lower in women, p = 0.03); meat (9.3 per cent lower in women, p < 0.001); and processed meat (7.1 per cent lower in women, p < 0.001). Women consume more water, sugar-sweetened beverages and alcoholic drinks than males, and liked salty foods more than sweet foods. Men ate faster, ate more during the night and slept worse than women. Men ate meals out more often and tended to be hungrier later in the day. Women missed more meals and ate more times during the day and were also more likely to eat uncontrollably.

Research limitations/implications

The authors observed strong evidence of profound gender-specific differences between men and women in terms of dietary habits, the taste of food and in the relationship with meals.

Practical implications

The findings suggest a need for the creation of gender-specific programs for promoting a healthy lifestyle.

Social implications

A need for the creation of gender-related programs for promoting healthy lifestyle has been demonstrated.

Originality/value

Reasons for the different eating behaviours among men and women have been found. Western society’s perception of the ideal body weight is much lower for women than for men. In general, social perceptions influence nutritional behaviour to a great extent. Women’s greater nutritional knowledge and sex-specific taste preferences also account for the differences in eating behaviour.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Conflict of interest: The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest. This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

Citation

Lombardo, M., Aulisa, G., Padua, E., Annino, G., Iellamo, F., Pratesi, A., Caprio, M. and Bellia, A. (2020), "Gender differences in taste and foods habits", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. 50 No. 1, pp. 229-239. https://doi.org/10.1108/NFS-04-2019-0132

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited