Are Food and Fitness Competing Claims on Adults' Time?

Rachel Tumin, Ohio State University
Lindsey Asti, Ohio State University
Sadie Palmisano, Ohio State University
Ananya Jena, Ohio State University

Time spent exercising and preparing food is linked to lower risk of obesity, yet time is scarce in American households. It is unclear if food preparation and exercise complement one another, or if people trade off one to make time for the other. We used the 2003-2010 American Time Use Surveys (N=112,037) to fit zero-inflated negative binomial models predicting exercise time as a function of time spent preparing food and household structure. A 10-minute increase in food preparation time was associated with lower probability of exercising 10 more minutes among both men and women (IRR=0.97, 95% CI=0.96-0.99 for men; IRR=0.99, 95% CI=0.98-0.99 for women), and this association did not vary by household structure. We conclude that the few adults who make time to exercise on a given day do so at the expense of time spent preparing food. Public health recommendations should account for this tradeoff in Americans’ time budget.

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Presented in Poster Session 5