WASHINGTON – People who earn more money are more likely to munch on muffins or chocolate bars while working, according to researchers at University of Texas at Austin.
What’s more, such people boost their chances of staying healthy – thanks to the regular munching.
Economist Daniel Hamermesh and his colleagues used data from the American Time Use Survey from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to reach the conclusion.
And they examined how much time Americans spend eating meals each day and how much time they spend “grazing” – snacking or drinking while working, watching TV or doing some other activity.
“When their time becomes more valuable, people substitute grazing for eating, essentially switching to multi-tasking. Overall, better health is associated with more time spent eating, but especially with spreading that time over more meals per day,” said Hamermesh.
It was found that over fifty percent of all adults graze each day, with their grazing time almost equalling the time they spend eating meals.
The average American adult spends about two-and-a-half hours eating or grazing every day.
The study also revealed that men graze less but spend more time eating meals than women. Overall, men spend about three-and-a-half more minutes a day eating meals than women.
It was also found that better-educated people eat more frequently, spend more total time eating, graze more frequently and spend more total time grazing than those with less education.
Higher earners also spend more time eating individual meals, graze more frequently and spend more time during each individual grazing episode.
Those who spend more time eating have a lower body mass index (BMI), on average, and view themselves as healthier than those who spend less time eating.