Family Interaction and Dynamics



 Hamburger for $.59!!!!!



Some Impacts of Fast Food on Families/Family Time



The Second Shift




                                  Survey Says.......


Both males and females, ages 30-39 ate most fast food.

-         These ages are less likely to have a family with developed roles and tasks (such as cooking/preparing meals).  For singles, couples, and beginning families it might be more convenient to simply “grab a bite” together.

-         Married persons ate fast food/carry out most (due to kids?)

-         Those never married with no kids ate the most fast food.

-         Those with more than one kid ate a substantial amount more of fast food than any other marital status.

-         This reinforces the simple solution of a quick meal, snack, or dinner to keep the kids’ mouths closed, or rather, satisfied.

-         Families with above $25K income buy vast majority of fast food/carry out in comparison to those with below $25K income level.

-         As the number of children in families increases, the difference in eating fast food between the two income level families decreases. (With more kids, fast food might be a faster and cheaper solution. Also, lower-middle & lower-lower classes might contain less educated people in terms of meal preparation creating a possible lack of desire to cook.)



         Family time is a term that continues to be used in an uncritical fashion in the research literature. In spite of dramatic changes in patterns of work, there has been little effort made to understand the implications for the changing patterns of family time.  The theory of family time has several key dimensions.  First, it would appear that the standards and expectations for family time are powerfully shaped by the Western ideals of family togetherness (meal time a prime example), positive engagement, and child-centeredness.  In this regard, family time is a prescriptive term that upholds a set of traditional family values that may not be easily realized in the face of today’s work and family challenges.  Fast food, carry-out, take out, and ultimately the commodification of food has facilitated meal preparation time and provided cheaper meals, but have also impacted family dynamics and not to mention created a more unhealthy nation.




1)     Bryant, W, Keith. An examination of parent-child shared time. Journal of   Marriage and the Family. V.58 p. 227-37.

2)     Hofferth, Sandra L. How American children spend their time. Journal of   Marriage and the Family. V. 63 p. 295-308.

3)     Price, Charlene C. Food Marketing: Food service Sales Reflect the Prosperous, Time-possessed 1990’s.  Food Review V.23 p. 23-26.

4)     Hochschild, Arlie and Anne Machung. The Second Shift. Arlie Hochschild, 1989.