22 year old Angela Billman of Canton, Ohio makes home-cooked meals about three times a week.
According to a 2006 article by L. Joan Allen of the Baltimore Sun, Claudia Peters, vice president of communications at the Food Marketing Institute reports that “67 percent of adults living alone have a home-cooked meal just once a week.”
The article also adds that Thomas F. Coleman, executive director of Unmarried America, an information service for singles, says that singles that live alone make up nearly 27 percent of American households, up from 13 percent in 1960.
With the convenience of fast food places such as McDonalds and Burger King, as well as microwave dinners such as lean cuisines and hot pockets, singles can find it tempting to skip home-cooking all together.
“Does a lean cuisine count as a home-cooked meal?” Billman asked.
The American Institute of Cancer Research (AICR) encourages singles to “take meal preparation into their own hands more often. Preparing more meals at home with healthful ingredients allows people greater control over their body weight and health.” In a 2004 article by the AICR, it stated that according to a U.S. Department of Energy study, more than 42 percent of all singles do not cook even one meal per day at home. Figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that singles spend 47 percent of their food dollar on food prepared away from home compared to 42 percent for households of two or more and 37 percent for households of five or more.
According to the article by L. Joan Allen, the current health concerns affiliated with fast food are bringing some singles back to the kitchen.
“I try not to eat fast food because I know it’s bad for you and I want something more nutritional, but if I make something for myself it’s normally something small, not something that covers all the food groups or anything,” said 21 year old Rebecca Vondrell of Cincinnati, Ohio.
The USDA Food Guide Pyramid suggests 3-5 one-half cup servings of vegetables a day. A typical lean cuisine meal, which for some composes an entire lunch or dinner, includes just one serving of vegetables and no fruits. With the high carb and protein diet commercialized by fast food restaurants, nutritious foods that should be consumed daily such as fruits and vegetables can fall far below the well-balanced-meal radar of both singles and families alike, even for those who attempt to be healthy.
For more specific recommendations on food group servings visit: http://mypyramid.gov/