How Does Time Use Differ between Individuals Who Do More versus Less Foodwork? A Compositional Data Analysis of Time Use in the United Kingdom Time Use Survey 2014–2015

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Clifford Astbury, Chloe  ORCID logo
Foley, Louise 

Background: Increased time spent on home food preparation is associated with higher diet quality, but a lack of time is often reported as a barrier to this practice. We compared time use in individuals who do more versus less foodwork (tasks required to feed ourselves and our households, including home food preparation). Methods: Cross-sectional analysis of the UK Time Use Survey 2014−15, participants aged 16+ (N = 6143). Time use over 24 h was attributed to seven compositional parts: personal care; sleep; eating; physical activity; leisure screen time; work (paid and unpaid); and socialising and hobbies. Participants were categorised as doing no, ‘some’ (70 min), or ‘more’ foodwork (≥70 min). We used compositional data analysis to test whether time-use composition varied between these participant groups, determine which of the parts varied between groups, and test for differences across population subgroups. Results: Participants who spent more time on foodwork spent less time on sleep, eating, and personal care and more time on work. Women who did more foodwork spent less time on personal care, socialising, and hobbies, which was not the case for men. Conclusion: Those who seek to encourage home food preparation should be aware of the associations between foodwork and other activities and design their interventions to guard against unintended consequences.

foodwork, home food preparation, compositional data analysis, time-use data
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Medical Research Council (MR/K023187/ 1)
National Institute for Health Research (16/137/34)