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Open AccessArticle

Describing Independent Eating Occasions among Low-Income Adolescents

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Department of Human Nutrition, Food and Animal Sciences, University of Hawaii-Manoa, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA
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Department of Nutrition, Dietetics & Food Science, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602, USA
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Department of Psychology, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602, USA
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Department of Foods and Nutrition, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA
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Department of Food Science and Nutrition, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 55108, USA
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School of Biological and Population Health Sciences, Nutrition, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA
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Department of Human Sciences, Ohio State University, Human Nutrition Program, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
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Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
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Department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, George Washington University, Washington, DC 20052, USA
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Center for Nutrition, Diet and Health, University of the District of Columbia, Washington, DC 20008, USA
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Couple and Family Therapy Program, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506, USA
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Department of Quantitative Health Sciences, University of Hawaii-Manoa, Honolulu, HI 96813, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(3), 981; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17030981
Received: 18 January 2020 / Revised: 31 January 2020 / Accepted: 2 February 2020 / Published: 5 February 2020
The purpose of this formative, cross-sectional study was to describe independent eating occasions (iEOs) among a convenience sample of low-income early adolescents (10–13 years, n = 46) in 10 U.S. states, including environmental context, foods selected and reasons for selection, and parental rules about foods consumed. Participants took pictures of all foods consumed over 24 h and participated in semi-structured interviews to describe the context of each eating occasion using the pictures as a guide. Responses based on a total of 304 eating occasions were coded to classify foods based on United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) MyPlate food groups and to characterize parental rules and reasons for food selection. Average age was 10.9 ± 1.1 years and 60% were female. Approximately 58% of eating occasions were classified as iEOs with approximately 65% as snacks. Most iEOs took place at home. Foods frequently consumed during iEOs were from the sweets, total fruit, dairy, and whole fruit food categories. Primary parental rules for iEOs focused on avoiding certain foods and not eating too much. Early adolescents selected foods for convenience, taste preferences, and availability. Foods selected during iEOs were based on parent, household and early adolescent factors, which could be addressed to influence overall diet quality. View Full-Text
Keywords: adolescents; low-income; diet quality; independent eating occasions; parents adolescents; low-income; diet quality; independent eating occasions; parents
MDPI and ACS Style

Banna, J.; Richards, R.; Jones, B.; Anderson, A.K.; Reicks, M.; Cluskey, M.; Gunther, C.; Hongu, N.K.; Lora, K.; Misner, S.; Monroe-Lord, L.; Topham, G.; Wong, S.S.; Lim, E. Describing Independent Eating Occasions among Low-Income Adolescents. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 981.

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