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Marriage Minutes: Are Regular, Home-Cooked Family Meals Possible?
A group of sociologists observed the dining habits of families to determine how likely it is to have a Norman Rockwell-style dinner.


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The vision of a regular, healthy, home-cooked family meal is not that realistic.


While the researchers understand that slowing down and eating a healthy meal would be a nice routine to achieve, they believe it's unrealistic and in most cases places the burden of this task on wo
The following is a news item selected by the Hitched editors during the week of September 25, 2014.

Are Home-Cooked Family Meals Still Possible?
Three sociologists, Sarah Bowen, Sinikka Elliott, Joslyn Brenton and their research team spent more than a year and a half conducting in-depth interviews with 150 black, white, and Latina mothers from all socioeconomic classes. They also spent over 250 hours observing 12 working-class and poor families. What they found is that sitting down for a regular, healthy family meal is really difficult—and perhaps unrealistic.

They identified three main reasons why it's so tough. First is finding the time. Planning the meal, prepping the meal and cleaning up are just the start of the time demands. Add to the mix, having to coordinate the schedules of two working parents, school, after school activities and a variety of other factors and it's easy to see why sitting down at a set time is difficult.

The second item is the cost of cooking a healthy meal. In their research paper titled, "The Joy of Cooking?" they reference another study that says it costs an extra $550 per year per person to eat a healthier diet (it could be argued that this might actually save money in the long wrong with the health benefits and reduced medical costs, but that doesn't help a family living paycheck to paycheck).

The third reason is the difficulty of trying to get each family member with their individual tastes to agree to consume the same meal prepared for everyone, every night. Rashan, a 4-year-old who was observed in the study proclaimed “I don’t need it. I don’t want it. I never had it,” when his mom served up an unfamiliar dish. We're pretty sure this isn't the first time other mothers out there have heard this statement.

While the researchers understand that slowing down and eating a healthy meal would be a nice routine to achieve, they believe it's unrealistic and in most cases places the burden of this task on women. If you're wondering what a family is to do then, the researchers recommend thinking outside of the box. In particular they offer some communal ideas, such as schools offering to-go meals, sharing food at lunch, monthly town meals, and healthy food trucks.

No Connection Between Breast Cancer and Bras
We think it's important to highlight research that dispels information that may be falsely spreading. In this case, Fred Hutchinson, the leading researcher of the study from the Cancer Research Center in Seattle, looked at the bra-wearing habits of more than 1,500 postmenopausal women with and without a history of breast cancer. Regardless of the cup size, whether the bras had underwires, the difference in the hours they were worn or at what age women starting wearing them, the researchers found no evidence that wearing a bra incases the risk of a woman developing breast cancer. The study was published in "Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention." This article published in USA Today discusses some of the other research surrounding this topic.


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