The Perils of Eating Broccoli Against Your Will

June 1st, 2012

No, this story has absolutely nothing to do with the Affordable Care Act.

Married men may eat their broccoli to keep the peace at dinner, but they may be likely to binge on unhealthy food when they leave the house, a recent study by University of Michigan researchers found.

The problem is that wives are making changes to couples’ diets without consulting their husbands, the authors of the study suggest. To get men on board with healthy eating, the authors say, communication may be key.

For the study, researchers at the University of Michigan conducted focus groups with 83 African American men. Overwhelmingly, the men agreed that their wives had more influence over what they ate than they did themselves, but that their wives usually didn’t consult them on changes to the menu at home. Often, healthy changes were made on doctor’s orders, but the men said they didn’t always like them. Still, rather than protesting, they reported going along with their wives’ decisions simply not to rock the boat.