How the time we spend cooking has changed

Over the last 50 years, significant advances in food technology and the rise of food corporations have undoubtedly had an impact on how we eat. Work by the NIH, recently brought to our attention by food writer Michael Pollan, has highlighted how the time we spend cooking has also changed.

The cluster chart below outlines the average time US adults have spent cooking between 1965 and 2008. The bars indicate the minutes per day spent by men and women who cook, while the data row specifies the percentage of men and women who cook. In general, fewer women cook and spend less time cooking in 2007-08 compared to 1965-66; conversely, more men cook and spend more time cooking in 2007-08 compared to 1965-66.

In 1965-66, women spent an average of 104 minutes per day cooking meals while men spent only 10 minutes.  As more women started also working outside the home, their cooking time dropped to 44 min per day in 2007-08. Men, however, have not completely balanced out this shift, as their average time spent cooking has only increased to 19 min per day in 2007-2008. As a result, the average time spent cooking per day has dropped from 114 minutes to 63 minutes.


Cluster chart showing changes in time we spend cooking

Cluster chart examining how the time US adults spend cooking has changed

The cluster chart above was built in PowerPoint using the Aploris plug-in/add-in.

Since US adults have increased caloric consumption over the last 50 years, this data would indicate that US adults are either consuming more food outside the home or are relying on packaged food to offset the reduced time spent cooking. Such changes have likely had a significant impact on the nutritional quality of the food we eat.

At Aploris we build productivity tools for PowerPoint users.  Our data visualization add-in helps users create a variety of charts including Mekkos, waterfalls and Gantts.  Our new product, TeamSlide, is a slide management solution embedded in PowerPoint that helps users better access their team’s shared content (slides, visuals, charts, etc.).

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