Nav: Home

Parents purchase frozen dinners for more than convenience

January 06, 2017

PHILADELPHIA, PA, January 6, 2017 - Processed foods are higher in calories, sugar, sodium, and saturated fat than natural foods, but prepackaged, processed meals remain a popular choice for many consumers because they reduce the energy, time, and cooking skills needed to prepare food. Having items like boxed entrees and frozen dinners available at home can contribute to a poor diet, which led researchers from the University of Minnesota and Duke University to examine reasons why parents purchase prepackaged, processed foods.

Although the majority (57%) of parents surveyed as part of this study identified time savings as a reason for purchasing frozen dinners, the results were more complex. With data from the HOME Plus randomized controlled trial, researchers used a psychosocial survey to assess the motivation of parents in buying prepackaged, processed foods. Nearly half (49%) of parents reported buying ready meals because their families really liked the meals, one third chose processed foods because children could help prepare them, and more than one quarter (27%) preferred the cost savings of frozen dinners.

"Because of the convenience and marketing of prepackaged, processed meals, it is not entirely surprising that most parents buy frozen dinners to save time on preparation," lead author Melissa Horning, PhD, RN, PHN, said.

Previous studies had shown a link between purchasing frozen dinners and the desire to save time, and the researchers also found a link between parents working more hours per week and choosing to purchase prepackaged, processed meals. Likewise, indicating any reason for purchasing frozen dinners other than "They are easy for my child to prepare" was linked to parents have lower cooking self-efficacy and meal-planning ability.

The results of this study raise some concerns, namely that choosing prepackaged, processed meals was linked to less fruit and vegetable availability, greater availability of less nutritious foods, and lower cooking self-efficacy and meal-planning skills. The researchers suggest that future studies address these concerns.

"If parents are not confident in their ability to cook, prepackaged, processed meals are an appealing but less nutritious option," Horning commented. "Parental attributes of self-efficacy for cooking healthful meals and meal-planning ability are modifiable, however, and new research should confirm our findings and explore interventions to enhance parents' skills and abilities."
-end-


Elsevier Health Sciences

Related Saturated Fat Articles:

Replacing saturated fat with healthier fat may lower cholesterol as well as drugs
Scientific studies that lowered intake of saturated fat and replaced it with polyunsaturated vegetable oil reduced cardiovascular disease by approximately 30 percent; similar to cholesterol-lowering drugs, known as statins.
Can fat 'feel' fat?
Researchers at the University of Iowa have discovered that a molecule which can sense the swelling of fat cells also controls a signaling pathway that allows fat cells to take up and store excess glucose.
Imaging from UK biobank participants shows that people with higher internal organ fat and thigh muscle fat spend more nights in hospital
New research presented at this year's European Congress on Obesity (ECO) in Porto, Portugal (May 17-20) shows that middle-aged people who spend the most nights in hospital (and thus have the highest healthcare burden) have on average much higher levels of visceral fat (internal fat that surrounds their organs) and fat within their thigh muscles than those who spend no nights in hospital.
Breast cancer risk is more affected by total body fat than abdominal fat
A reduction in overall body fat, rather than abdominal fat, is associated with lower levels of breast cancer markers.
Popular belief that saturated fats clog up arteries 'plain wrong' say experts
The widely held belief among doctors and the public that saturated fats clog up the arteries, and so cause coronary heart disease, is just 'plain wrong,' contend experts in an editorial published online in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
Low-calorie sweeteners promote fat accumulation in human fat
Low-calorie, artificial sweeteners appear to play havoc with the body's metabolism, and large consumption of these sugar substitutes could promote fat accumulation, especially in people who are already obese, preliminary research suggests.
Making metabolically active brown fat from white fat-derived stem cells
Researchers have demonstrated the potential to engineer brown adipose tissue, which has therapeutic promise to treat metabolic diseases such as obesity and type 2 diabetes, from white adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs).
Consuming saturated animal fats increases the risk of type 2 diabetes
The consumption of butter, which is rich in saturated fatty acids and trans fats, has been related to a high risk of suffering from this disease.
Saturated fat could be good for you
A Norwegian study shows that saturated fat actually could be good for you.
High intake of saturated fats linked to increased coronary heart disease risk
Consumption of major saturated fatty acids increases coronary heart disease risk, and these should be replaced with unsaturated fats, whole grain carbohydrates or plant proteins, as part of an effective preventive approach, suggests a large study published by The BMJ today.

Related Saturated Fat Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Changing The World
What does it take to change the world for the better? This hour, TED speakers explore ideas on activism—what motivates it, why it matters, and how each of us can make a difference. Guests include civil rights activist Ruby Sales, labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta, author Jeremy Heimans, "craftivist" Sarah Corbett, and designer and futurist Angela Oguntala.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#521 The Curious Life of Krill
Krill may be one of the most abundant forms of life on our planet... but it turns out we don't know that much about them. For a create that underpins a massive ocean ecosystem and lives in our oceans in massive numbers, they're surprisingly difficult to study. We sit down and shine some light on these underappreciated crustaceans with Stephen Nicol, Adjunct Professor at the University of Tasmania, Scientific Advisor to the Association of Responsible Krill Harvesting Companies, and author of the book "The Curious Life of Krill: A Conservation Story from the Bottom of the World".