Influence of Childcare Experience on Women's Dietary Habits: Analysis of Public Opinion Poll on Health

Monday, July 14, 2014: 12:00 PM
Room: F205
Distributed Paper
Yumi OHBUCHI , Nara Women's University, Japan
In Japan, food and people’s eating habits have changed quickly in the postwar era. Externalization of household functions has reduced domestic work; however, people have lost the opportunity to acquire sufficient skill and knowledge in cooking. Notably, a social problem of children’s unhealthy dietary habits has arisen. Furthermore, some studies have found that mother’s food consciousness or dietary behavior affect the related dietary habits at home. However, few empirical studies have examined the correlation between women’s dietary habits and whether they have children or not. This study examines the effect of childcare experience on women’s dietary habits by focusing on their food choices and dietary habits. Analysis of a public opinion poll on health data with logistic regression reveals that childcare experience affects dietary habits in women. Compared to childless women, women with children “eat all three meals” more regularly but are not conscious of “avoiding eating snacks.” Moreover, women who are more conscious of their food choices tend to be older, unemployed, and have a high standard of living. The result revealed the following points. First, women equate the responsibility of nurturing children to disciplining them rather than caring for their children’s physical health. Second, childcare experience has both positive and negative effects on women’s dietary habits. Therefore, these factors should be considered when encouraging and promoting improvement in women’s dietary habits.