Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

Shared meals among young adults are associated with better diet quality and predicted by family meal patterns during adolescence

  • Nicole Larson (a1), Jayne Fulkerson (a2), Mary Story (a1) and Dianne Neumark-Sztainer (a1)
Abstract
AbstractObjective

To describe shared meal patterns and examine associations with dietary intake among young adults.

Design

Population-based, longitudinal cohort study (Project EAT: Eating and Activity in Teens and Young Adults).

Setting

Participants completed surveys and FFQ in high-school classrooms in Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN, USA in 1998–1999 (mean age = 15·0 years, ‘adolescence’) and follow-up measures online or by mail in 2008–2009 (mean age = 25·3 years, ‘young adulthood’).

Subjects

There were 2052 participants who responded to the 10-year follow-up survey and reported on frequency of having shared meals.

Results

Among young adults, the frequency of shared meals during the past week was as follows: never (9·9 %), one or two times (24·7 %), three to six times (39·1 %) and seven or more times (26·3 %). Having more frequent family meals during adolescence predicted a higher frequency of shared meals in young adulthood above and beyond other relevant sociodemographic factors such as household composition and parental status. Compared with young adults who never had family meals during adolescence, those young adults who reported seven or more family meals per week during adolescence had an average of one additional shared meal per week. Having more frequent shared meals in young adulthood was associated with greater intake of fruit among males and females, and with higher intakes of vegetables, milk products and some key nutrients among females.

Conclusions

Nutrition professionals should encourage families of adolescents to share meals often and establish the tradition of eating together, and work with young adults to ensure that healthy food and beverage choices are offered at mealtimes.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Shared meals among young adults are associated with better diet quality and predicted by family meal patterns during adolescence
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Shared meals among young adults are associated with better diet quality and predicted by family meal patterns during adolescence
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Shared meals among young adults are associated with better diet quality and predicted by family meal patterns during adolescence
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: Email larsonn@umn.edu
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

1. A Kusano-Tsunoh , H Nakatsuka , H Satoh et al. (2001) Effects of family-togetherness on the food selection by primary and junior high school students: family togetherness means better food. Tohoku J Exp Med 194, 121127.

2. M Haapalahti , H Mykkanen , S Tikkanen et al. (2003) Meal patterns and food use in 10- to 11-year-old Finnish children. Public Health Nutr 6, 365370.

3. L Cooke , J Wardle , E Gibson et al. (2004) Demographic, familial and trait predictors of fruit and vegetable consumption by pre-school children. Public Health Nutr 7, 295302.

4. G Ayala , B Baquero , E Arredondo et al. (2007) Association between family variables and Mexican American children's dietary behaviors. J Nutr Educ Behav 39, 6269.

6. M Gillman , S Rifas-Shiman , A Frazier et al. (2000) Family dinner and diet quality among older children and adolescents. Arch Fam Med 9, 235240.

7. T Videon & C Manning (2003) Influences on adolescent eating patterns: the importance of family meals. J Adolesc Health 32, 365373.

8. D Neumark-Sztainer , P Hannan , M Story et al. (2003) Family meal patterns: associations with sociodemographic characteristics and improved dietary intake among adolescents. J Am Diet Assoc 103, 317322.

9. MC Nelson , M Story , NI Larson et al. (2008) Emerging adulthood and college-aged youth: an overlooked age for weight-related behavior change. Obesity (Silver Spring) 16, 22052211.

11. S Krebs-Smith , P Guenther , A Subar et al. (2010) Americans do not meet federal dietary recommendations. J Nutr 140, 18321838.

14. J Berge , N Larson , K Bauer et al. (2011) Are parents of young children practicing healthy nutrition and physical activity behaviors? Pediatrics 127, 881887.

15. D Neumark-Sztainer , M Story , P Hannan et al. (2002) Overweight status and eating patterns among adolescents: where do youth stand in comparison to the Healthy People 2010 Objectives? Am J Public Health 92, 844851.

16. D Neumark-Sztainer , J Croll , M Story et al. (2002) Ethnic/racial differences in weight-related concerns and behaviors among adolescent girls and boys: findings from Project EAT. J Psychosom Res 53, 963974.

19. M Story , K Kaphingst , R Robinson-O'Brien et al. (2008) Creating healthy food and eating environments: policy and environmental approaches. Annu Rev Public Health 29, 253272.

21. J Brug , FJ van Lenthe & S Kremers (2006) Revisiting Kurt Lewin: how to gain insight into environmental correlates of obesogenic behaviors. Am J Prev Med 31, 525529.

22. J Sallis , M Story & D Lou (2009) Study designs and analytic strategies for environmental and policy research on obesity, physical activity, and diet: recommendations from a meeting of experts. Am J Prev Med 36, 2 Suppl., S72S77.

23. T Huang & T Glass (2008) Transforming research strategies for understanding and preventing obesity. JAMA 300, 18111813.

24. D Neumark-Sztainer , M Story , D Ackard et al. (2000) The ‘family meal’: views of adolescents. J Nutr Educ Behav 32, 329334.

26. D Neumark-Sztainer , M Wall , M Story et al. (2004) Are family meal patterns associated with disordered eating behaviors among adolescents? J Adolesc Health 35, 350359.

27. D Neumark-Sztainer , M Story , C Perry et al. (1999) Factors influencing food choices of adolescents: findings from focus-group discussions with adolescents. J Am Diet Assoc 99, 929937.

36. D Feskanich , E Rimm , E Giovannucci et al. (1993) Reproducibility and validity of food intake measurements from a semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire. J Am Diet Assoc 93, 790796.

38. W Willett . (1998) Nutritional Epidemiology, 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press.

40. N Larson , D Neumark-Sztainer , P Hannan et al. (2007) Family meals during adolescence are associated with higher diet quality and healthful meal patterns during young adulthood. J Am Diet Assoc 107, 15021510.

42. R Little (1986) Survey nonresponse adjustments for estimates of means. Int Stat Rev 54, 139157.

43. N Larson , M Nelson , D Neumark-Sztainer et al. (2009) Making time for meals: meal structure and associations with dietary intake in young adults. J Am Diet Assoc 109, 7279.

44. J Fulkerson , M Kubik , M Story et al. (2009) Are there nutritional and other benefits associated with family meals among at-risk youth? J Adolesc Health 45, 389395.

45. M Eisenberg , R Olson , D Neumark-Sztainer et al. (2004) Correlations between family meals and psychosocial well-being among adolescents. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 158, 792796.

46. J Fulkerson , M Story , A Mellin et al. (2006) Family dinner meal frequency and adolescent development: relationships with developmental assets and high-risk behaviors. J Adolesc Health 39, 337345.

47. J Savage , J Orlet Fisher & L Birch (2007) Parental influence on eating behavior: conception to adolescence. J Law Med Ethics 35, 2234.

48. A Ventura & L Birch (2008) Does parenting affect children's eating and weight status? Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act 5, 15.

49. R Rosenkranz & D Dzewaltowski (2009) Promoting better family meals for girls attending summer programs. J Nutr Educ Behav 41, 6567.

50. D Johnson , D Birkett , C Evens et al. (2006) Promoting family meals in WIC: lessons learned from a statewide initiative. J Nutr Educ Behav 38, 177182.

51. J Fulkerson , S Rydell , M Kubik et al. (2010) Healthy Home Offerings via the Mealtime Environment (HOME): feasibility, acceptability, and outcomes of a pilot study. Obesity (Silver Spring) 18, Suppl. 1, S69S74.

52. C Devine , A Stoddard , E Barbeau et al. (2007) Work-to-family spillover and fruit and vegetable consumption among construction laborers. Am J Health Promot 21, 175182.

53. T Allen , K Shockley & L Poteat (2008) Workplace factors associated with family dinner behaviors. J Vocat Behav 73, 336342.

54. C Devine , T Farrell , C Blake et al. (2009) Work conditions and the food choice coping strategies of employed parents. J Nutr Educ Behav 41, 365370.

55. C Blake , C Devine , E Wethington et al. (2009) Employed parents’ satisfaction with food-choice coping strategies. Influence of gender and structure. Appetite 52, 711719.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Public Health Nutrition
  • ISSN: 1368-9800
  • EISSN: 1475-2727
  • URL: /core/journals/public-health-nutrition
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 25
Total number of PDF views: 169 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 325 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 22nd September 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.