Your Lunchbox is Your Friend

Topic: Health & Safety
Publication: Health Education & Behavior (APR 2009)
Article: Factors Influencing Lunchtime Food Choices Among Working Americans
Author: H.M. Blanck, A.L. Yaroch, A.A. Atienza, S.L. Yi, J. Zhang, L.C. Masse
Reviewed by: Lit Digger

Do you embrace your brown bag from home, or do you fork over the dough on one too many occasions?  Blanck, et al. (2009) conducted an interesting study on the habits of working Americans at lunchtime.  Join me for a quick bite out of their most delicious findings.

· Lunch Brought or Lunch Bought?  About 33% of survey respondents brought their lunch from home on a regular basis. A whopping 54% admitted to buying their lunch two or more times per week.

· Open wallets, closed purses.  Men were more likely than women to buy lunch two or more times per week.

· The brown bag is for school children and their grandparents, not for young professionals.  When compared to those ages 55 or older, respondents ages 18-34 were more likely to buy lunch two or more times per week.

· Laziness pays in pounds. Survey respondents who were overweight (as measured by BMI) were 37% more likely than others to buy their lunches two or more times per week.

· Convenience is king.  When asked what factors most influenced their lunchtime  decision-making:

o 34.3% said they valued convenience

o 27.8% said they valued taste

o 20.8% said they valued cost

o 17.1% said they valued health

Perhaps we can learn a little bit about our personal tendencies by looking at the tendencies of those around us. It appears as though the desire for lunch meal convenience can not only result in more money spent, but also in more pounds gained in the long run. I mean, who in their right mind would pay more money for a higher BMI?

Cling to those brown bags, my fellow working Americans, and the payoff will be much sweeter later.

Blanck, H.M., Yaroch, A.L., Atienza, A.A., Yi, S.L., Zhang, J., Masse, L.C. (2009).  Factors
influencing lunchtime food choices among working Americans. Health and
Behavior, 36, 289-301.