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Making time for meals: meal structure and associations with dietary intake in young adults.
J Am Diet Assoc. 2009 Jan; 109(1):72-9.JA

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Prior studies have found that family meals and other aspects of meal structure are associated with dietary intake during adolescence, but little research has characterized meals in young adulthood.

OBJECTIVE

This study was designed to describe attitudes regarding the social nature of meals, time constraints on meals, and meal regularity in young adults. In addition, this study aimed to describe the sociodemographic characteristics of young adults who report eating dinner with others and "eating on the run," and examine associations of these behaviors with meal attitudes and dietary intake.

DESIGN

Data for this cross-sectional analysis were drawn from Project EAT (Eating Among Teens)-II, the second wave of a Minnesota population-based study.

SUBJECTS/SETTING

Mailed surveys and food frequency questionnaires were completed in 2003-2004 by 1,687 young adult (mean age=20.5 years; 44% male) participants. MAIN OUTCOMES MEASURED AND STATISTICAL ANALYSES PERFORMED: chi(2) tests were calculated to examine differences in meal attitudes and behaviors according to sociodemographic characteristics. Relationships between meal attitudes and behaviors were explored using Spearman's correlation coefficients. Linear regression models adjusted for demographic characteristics were used to examine associations between meal behaviors and dietary intake variables.

RESULTS

The majority of young adults reported they enjoy and value eating with others, but 35% of males and 42% of females reported lacking time to sit down and eat a meal. Eating dinner with others was significantly associated (P</=0.01) with several markers of better dietary intake, including higher intakes of fruit, vegetables, and dark-green and orange vegetables. Eating on the run was significantly associated (P<0.01) with higher intakes of soft drinks, fast food, total fat and saturated fat, and lower intake of several healthful foods.

CONCLUSIONS

Findings suggest that health services and programs for young adults should encourage taking the time to sit down for meals and to share meals with others.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55454, USA. larsonn@umn.eduNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

Language

eng

PubMed ID

19103325

Citation

Larson, Nicole I., et al. "Making Time for Meals: Meal Structure and Associations With Dietary Intake in Young Adults." Journal of the American Dietetic Association, vol. 109, no. 1, 2009, pp. 72-9.
Larson NI, Nelson MC, Neumark-Sztainer D, et al. Making time for meals: meal structure and associations with dietary intake in young adults. J Am Diet Assoc. 2009;109(1):72-9.
Larson, N. I., Nelson, M. C., Neumark-Sztainer, D., Story, M., & Hannan, P. J. (2009). Making time for meals: meal structure and associations with dietary intake in young adults. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 109(1), 72-9. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jada.2008.10.017
Larson NI, et al. Making Time for Meals: Meal Structure and Associations With Dietary Intake in Young Adults. J Am Diet Assoc. 2009;109(1):72-9. PubMed PMID: 19103325.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Making time for meals: meal structure and associations with dietary intake in young adults. AU - Larson,Nicole I, AU - Nelson,Melissa C, AU - Neumark-Sztainer,Dianne, AU - Story,Mary, AU - Hannan,Peter J, PY - 2008/03/22/received PY - 2008/08/03/accepted PY - 2008/12/24/entrez PY - 2008/12/24/pubmed PY - 2009/3/4/medline SP - 72 EP - 9 JF - Journal of the American Dietetic Association JO - J Am Diet Assoc VL - 109 IS - 1 N2 - BACKGROUND: Prior studies have found that family meals and other aspects of meal structure are associated with dietary intake during adolescence, but little research has characterized meals in young adulthood. OBJECTIVE: This study was designed to describe attitudes regarding the social nature of meals, time constraints on meals, and meal regularity in young adults. In addition, this study aimed to describe the sociodemographic characteristics of young adults who report eating dinner with others and "eating on the run," and examine associations of these behaviors with meal attitudes and dietary intake. DESIGN: Data for this cross-sectional analysis were drawn from Project EAT (Eating Among Teens)-II, the second wave of a Minnesota population-based study. SUBJECTS/SETTING: Mailed surveys and food frequency questionnaires were completed in 2003-2004 by 1,687 young adult (mean age=20.5 years; 44% male) participants. MAIN OUTCOMES MEASURED AND STATISTICAL ANALYSES PERFORMED: chi(2) tests were calculated to examine differences in meal attitudes and behaviors according to sociodemographic characteristics. Relationships between meal attitudes and behaviors were explored using Spearman's correlation coefficients. Linear regression models adjusted for demographic characteristics were used to examine associations between meal behaviors and dietary intake variables. RESULTS: The majority of young adults reported they enjoy and value eating with others, but 35% of males and 42% of females reported lacking time to sit down and eat a meal. Eating dinner with others was significantly associated (P</=0.01) with several markers of better dietary intake, including higher intakes of fruit, vegetables, and dark-green and orange vegetables. Eating on the run was significantly associated (P<0.01) with higher intakes of soft drinks, fast food, total fat and saturated fat, and lower intake of several healthful foods. CONCLUSIONS: Findings suggest that health services and programs for young adults should encourage taking the time to sit down for meals and to share meals with others. SN - 0002-8223 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/19103325/Making_time_for_meals:_meal_structure_and_associations_with_dietary_intake_in_young_adults_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0002-8223(08)01894-4 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -