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Husbands eat greens to keep peace

Married men may eat their greens at dinner, but they are likely to sneak off to binge on junk food when their wives aren’t looking, just to keep the peace, according to a new study.

health and fitness Updated: Jun 03, 2012 01:10 IST
Relaxnews

Married men may eat their greens at dinner, but they are likely to sneak off to binge on junk food when their wives aren’t looking, just to keep the peace, according to a new study.

The researchers recruited focus groups with 83 African-American men for their study, which was published in this month’s issue of the journal, Health Psychology. Most of the men revealed that their wives didn’t consult them when making healthy dietary changes, and husbands often disliked the food changes, but to keep the peace, they keep their objections to themselves.

Yet all the good intentions at home often backfire, according to a statement from the researchers. “After tasteless ground turkey for the fifth night in a row, some men would head to the all-you-can-eat buffet for ‘a landslide of food’,” said the statement.

“I think at dinner, a lot of men are eating healthier, but they compensate for the dissatisfaction of not eating what they want by making unhealthier choices outside the home,” study researcher Derek Griffith, of the University of Michigan, said in a statement.

One way the researchers recommend turning this around is for husbands and wives to communicate better about their diet. “The key to married men adopting a healthier diet is for couples to discuss and negotiate the new, healthier menu changes as a team,” said Griffith. “Doctors could suggest that men have a tactful conversation with their wives in a way that ensures the husbands aren’t sleeping on the couch that night,” he added.

While there is a long line of research that associates marriage with reducing unhealthy habits, such as smoking, recent research finds that cohabitating couples may also pick up each other’s bad habits, such as watching too much television, eating junk food, and skipping the gym.