Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Young Adults Need to Make More Time for Healthy Meals

New study demonstrates that eating alone or on the run may result in less healthy choices

As adolescents mature into young adults, increasing time constraints due to school or work can begin to impact eating habits in a negative way.

In a study published in the January 2009 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, researchers observed that while young adults enjoy and value time spent eating with others, 35% of males and 42% of females reported lacking time to sit down and eat a meal. They further noted that “eating on the run” was related to higher consumption of unhealthy items like fast foods and lower consumption of many healthful foods.

By surveying 1687 young adults between 18 and 25, who had previously participated in the Project EAT (Eating Among Teens) study while in high school, investigators from the School of Public Health, University of Minnesota assessed both eating behaviors and dietary balance. In particular, the participants were asked whether they enjoyed eating with friends or family in social settings, whether eating regular meals was important and whether they felt they had to eat on the run due to time pressures. Regarding dietary balance, they were asked about their past year intake of fruit, vegetables, dark-green and orange vegetables, whole grains and soft drinks, as well as their consumption of fast food in the past week.

The results suggest that perceived time constraints may be a common barrier to sitting down for meals. Social eating was associated with greater intake of several healthful foods (e.g., vegetables) and with higher intakes of calcium and fiber among males. In contrast, “eating on the run” was associated with higher intakes of soft drinks, fast food and fat, and with lower intake of several healthful foods among females.

Writing in the article, Nicole I. Larson states, “The findings of this study suggest there is a need to address the influence of perceived time constraints on the eating and meal behaviors of early young adults...Having few shared meals and frequently ‘eating on the run’ were associated with poorer dietary intake...As most young adults indicated they enjoy and value time that is spent eating with others, it may be beneficial for health promotion strategies targeting young adults to address the management and reduction of individual time barriers to having regular, shared meals.”

The article is “Making Time for Meals: Meal Structure and Associations with Dietary Intake in Young Adults” by Nicole I. Larson, PhD, MPH, RD, Melissa C. Nelson, PhD, RD, Dianne Neumark-Sztainer, PhD, MPH, RD, Mary Story, PhD, RD, and Peter J. Hannan, MStat. It appears in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, Volume 109, Issue 1 (January 2009) published by Elsevier.

Lynelle Korte | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Ice shelf vibrations cause unusual waves in Antarctic atmosphere

25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

Fluorescent holography: Upending the world of biological imaging

25.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Etching Microstructures with Lasers

25.10.2016 | Process Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>