By Peter Jackson (eds.)

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2000), their role is primarily that of helper: ‘chipping in’ to perform ‘provisional, discretionary and secondary’ tasks when requested, rather than making the first move and/or insisting on a more equitable distribution of the workload (Sanchez and Thomson 1997). This reiterates the message of one feminist commentator who asserts that advancements in gender equity have not so much plateaued, but are moving in a retrograde direction (Summers 2003). Women not only undertake the majority of traditional household work, they are also more likely to take the lead in new initiatives such as recycling (Oates and McDonald 2006).

It is considered one of the largest and best controlled trials of a dietary intervention in pregnancy. Although the trial was not a randomised controlled trial, the characteristics of the women in the study and control groups were similar as care was taken to ensure unbiased allocation to comparison groups. The study was reported in two articles in 1942 in the British Medical Journal and The Lancet, and in a final report published in 1946 (People’s League of Health 1942a, 1942b, 1946). Despite the implications of the results, the trial received a mixed reception at the time.

Megan Blake et al. examine the social practices associated with family meals in the UK and Hungary. The authors argue that certain meals take on special meaning because of the way they are differentially situated within other family practices. So, for example, breakfast may be given added meaning because it is constituted as a ‘family practice’ while lunch may be foregone by some adults for whom it is a solitary activity, devoid of any wider, social connotations. For others, a cooked lunch retains its social significance as a valued part of a culturally-approved national tradition.

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