Washington, Mar 20 : Men and women have different eating habits, with men favoring meat and poultry, and women fruits and vegetables, says a new study.
The findings are based on a recent population survey of the Foodborne Disease Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet). From May 2006 to April 2007 over 14,000 American adults participated in an extensive survey outlining their eating habits, including high-risk foods for foodborne illness.
"There was such a variety of data we thought it would be interesting to see whether there were any gender differences. To our knowledge, there have been studies in the literature on gender differences in eating habits, but nothing this extensive," said Beletshachew Shiferaw, a lead researcher on the study.
The research team found that men were significantly more likely to eat meat and poultry products especially duck, veal, and ham. They were also more likely to eat certain shellfish such as shrimp and oysters. Women, on the other hand were more likely to eat vegetables, especially carrots and tomatoes.
As for fruits, they were more likely to eat strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and apples. Women also preferred dry foods, such as almonds and walnuts, and were more likely to consume eggs and yogurt when compared with men.
The study found that men were significantly more likely to consume asparagus and brussels sprouts than women while women were more likely to consume fresh hamburgers (as opposed to frozen, which the men preferred).
"The reason we looked at consumption and risky behaviors was to see if there was a statistically significant difference between men and women and if there is this information could be used by health educators to target interventions," said Shiferaw.
The research has been presented at the 2008 International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases in Atlanta, Georgia.