Are you trying to get your husband to eat healthier but find that you can't seem to get through to him? According to a recent study, you can get your husband to eat better just by talking to him. Don’t go off and change the menu on your own. Instead, plan your options together and discuss any dietary changes that must be made.
The study, aptly called "'She looks out for the meals, period.' African-American men's perceptions of how their wives influence their eating behavior and dietary health," recounts a focus group discussion with 83 African-American men who were asked about their wives’ say when it came to their their diet. Based on the report, the participants weren’t happy about having to change their diet, even if a doctor advised them to do it. However, most of them admitted that they would comply anyway if they could avoid creating conflict at home.
While this may be effective in the short-term, forcing your husband to eat what you tell him to won’t solve the problem. In fact, the study found that after eating tasteless turkey for the fifth night in a row, some of the husbands would sneak out to an eat-all-you-can joint just to sate their cravings.
"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," says Derek Griffith, assistant professor at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. If that’s the case, then it doesn’t matter how many vegetables your husband eats in front of you.
If you’re truly serious about getting your man to eat better, it's best not to push him to accept your well-researched suggestions. This might only serve to fuel his desire for unhealthy foods. "The key to married men adopting a healthier diet is for couples to discuss and negotiate the new, healthier menu changes as a team," says Griffith. If you can take the time to talk things over as a couple, then his diet and possibly your marriage will be all the better for it.
(Photo by matchstick via sxc.hu)