Shepherd and Towler (2007) found significant differences between men and women in regards to their attitudes towards nutrition and various classes of food. This difference was most pronounced in evaluations of the harmfulness of fried food: although both men and women considered fried foods harmful, women expressed far more negative attitudes about it. Differences in general evaluations of meat and dairy were non-significant.
Wardle et al (2004) found that half of the behavioral differences between men and women's dietary habits could be tied to their beliefs about their food choices. However, the Shephard and Towler study found disconnects for women between belief, intention, and behavior, especially around dairy products.
My relationship with food is complicated enough. I don't dare throw gender-politics into it (although I have noticed that I'm more self-conscious about just ordering a salad when I'm out!) My boyfriend, as I'm sure I've mentioned, seems to have some sort of biofuel engine that runs on deep-fryer oil. I love fried foods, but I don't feel great after consuming a lot of them. He seems to feel even better after a large meal of fried stuff with cheese. I have to wonder whether this is an adaptation to eating this kind of diet, or whether he actually has an easier time converting fried foods into energy and well-being.
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