Research shows time limitations are major factor in preparing healthy meals at home

Recent research shows that time limitations are a major factor in the difficulty of Americans to purchase, prepare and eat nutritious meals at home.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average working woman spends 5 hours per week on food preparation. In May of 2010, the USDA's food plan estimated a cost of $70 a week for an individual to purchase healthy food to be prepared at home. In a follow up study, the Journal of Nutrition determined that the USDA missed a major factor - time. In fact, preparing the healthy meals recommended by the USDA requires 9-16 hours per week. For the average working woman with only 5 hours a week for food preparation, creating these nutritious meals at home is an unlikely reality.

"Most Americans know that high-calorie junk foods are convenient, affordable and are lacking in nutrition. They also realize that preparing healthy foods can be expensive and time consuming. It is out of this disconnect that home diet delivery plans are growing in popularity," said Caroline Cederquist M.D., a bariatric physician and the founder of Bistro MD, the number one physician-designed, gourmet diet delivery plan in the nation.

The Journal of Nutrition follow up study determined that although healthy eating can be costly, the value of your time spent in preparation can be even more than the cost of food (The Thrifty Food Plan Is Not Thrifty When Labor Cost Is Considered, 2010). Cooking is labor intensive and time is not an unlimited or free resource. In order to determine the value of an hour of time, a formula was developed by economists at the Warwick University in England:>$39,139 and imputing an hourly wage of $18.81 (W), a tax rate of 12% (t) and a national average cost of living of 100 (C). The estimated value for an hour of time is $16.55. If the USDA's minimum of 9 hours are dedicated to food preparation it would cost about $150 a week in time.

"When adding the USDA's conservative $70 for groceries and the $150 weekly value of time in preparing healthy meals, it becomes clear how spending as little as $22.85 a day for Bistro MD meals is a real bargain. And that's assuming you even have the 9 hours a week to shop, plan and prepare your food," said Caroline Cederquist M.D.

Americans spend less on food than many other developed nations but pay the price in fatigue, nutritional deficiencies, obesity and other diseases. Residents desiring to lose weight while also eating healthy foods trust Bistro MD home diet delivery as an investment in their health and as a way to save time and money. Bistro MD meals are physician-designed, metabolically balanced and chef prepared without additives and fillers. Bistro MD also offers free access to dieticians for support and offers plans for less than $23 a day.


Bistro MD


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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