A 2006 report in the Journal of American Dietetic Association
states that the person who purchases and buys the food has the biggest influence on family eating habits (the research labeled these individuals as “nutritional gatekeepers!”
and they also seem to influence children’s lunches, snacks, and food ordered at restaurants
). The old guard nutritional gatekeepers used to be comprised entirely of women, but these days the gatekeeper can be a grandmother, father, housekeeper, or nanny.
The New York Times article also went on to describe the distinct types of nutritional gatekeepers found in most homes:
>> Giving – these cooks specialize in home cooking and baked goods; they’re also very eager to cook for people.
>> Methodical – these cooks follows recipes exactly and all the food they produce is a byproduct of the cookbooks they read.
>> Competitive – these cooks want to impress people and don’t really care about health.
>> Healthy – these cooks are a little less concerned about taste and prepare lots of fish and vegetables (and use fresh ingredients in general).
>> Innovative – these cooks experiment lots with ingredients and cooking styles and they tend to produce healthy meals.
The New York Times has a quiz
that will allow you to determine your cooking personality. There are also some great tips that come out of determining what type of nutritional gatekeeper you are, including:
>> “Giving” cooks turn out to be the least healthy.
>> “Innovative” cooks seem to employ the best overall philosophy, using fresh ingredients to improve taste and the heath factor.
>> Recipes should be scrutinized; just because a recipe calls for 3 sticks of butter and 10 egg yolks doesn’t mean you need to produce the dish in the same exact manner. A study by two universities concluded that, “Even some cookbooks recipes have fallen victim to the super sizing trends made popular by fast food restaurants. Researchers examined seven editions of the Joy of Cooking published from ’36 – ’07. In 14 of the 18 recipes studied the calorie content had surged by an average of 920 calories or 44 percent per recipe.”
>> Foodies will probably not want to associate with “healthy” cooks, as they are focused less on flavor and taste.