If you’re a man trying to eat better, you’re best off moving to a new neighborhood, according to a Canadian study.
"We found that, for men only, intake of fruit and vegetables was positively associated with the proportion of healthy food outlets around home," explains lead researcher Christelle M. Clary of the University of Montreal.
The study was based on a health survey of nearly 50,000 Canadians living in five major cities, then compared with a map of healthy (grocery stores, supermarkets, produce stands and natural food stores) and unhealthy (convenience stores, fast-food restaurants) food retailers in their neighborhood.
It found that men's eating habits are determined by what’s available closest to their home – but women’s are not. The women in the study also ate, on average, 4.4 portions of fruits and vegetables daily, a full portion more than men.
So why are women more diligent about seeking out better food? "This may be because women, who are in general more nutritionally knowledgeable, may engage in different food shopping strategies than men, and rely on other aspects of the food environment than the proportion of food stores locally available," suggests professor Yan Kestens, who directed the study.