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Nutrients 2018, 10(10), 1538;

Non-Pharmacological Interventions to Reduce Unhealthy Eating and Risky Drinking in Young Adults Aged 18–25 Years: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Law, Teesside University, Middlesbrough TS1 3BA, UK
Fuse—The Centre for Translational Research in Public Health, a UK Clinical Research Collaboration (UKCRC) Public Health Research Centre of Excellence, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4AX, UK
Institute of Health & Society, Baddiley-Clark Building, Newcastle University, Richardson Road, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4AX, UK
Human Nutrition Research Centre, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4AX, UK
Institute for Social Marketing (ISM), Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport, University of Stirling, Stirling FK9 4LA, UK
Population, Policy and Practice, UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, 30 Guilford Street, London WC1N 1EH, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 September 2018 / Revised: 10 October 2018 / Accepted: 15 October 2018 / Published: 18 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Behaviours during Young Adulthood)
Full-Text   |   PDF [1091 KB, uploaded 18 October 2018]   |  


Alcohol use peaks in early adulthood and can contribute both directly and indirectly to unhealthy weight gain. This review aimed to systematically evaluate the effectiveness of preventative targeted interventions focused on reducing unhealthy eating behavior and linked alcohol use in 18–25-year-olds. Twelve electronic databases were searched from inception to June 2018 for trials or experimental studies, of any duration or follow-up. Eight studies (seven with student populations) met the inclusion criteria. Pooled estimates demonstrated inconclusive evidence that receiving an intervention resulted in changes to self-reported fruit and vegetable consumption (mean change/daily servings: 0.33; 95% CI −0.22 to 0.87) and alcohol consumption (mean reduction of 0.6 units/week; CI −1.35 to 0.19). There was also little difference in the number of binge drinking episodes per week between intervention and control groups (−0.01 sessions; CI −0.07 to 0.04). This review identified only a small number of relevant studies. Importantly, included studies did not assess whether (and how) unhealthy eating behaviors and alcohol use link together. Further exploratory work is needed to inform the development of appropriate interventions, with outcome measures that have the capacity to link food and alcohol consumption, in order to establish behavior change in this population group. View Full-Text
Keywords: Intervention; young adult; eating behaviour; alcohol; systematic review Intervention; young adult; eating behaviour; alcohol; systematic review

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Scott, S.; Beyer, F.; Parkinson, K.; Muir, C.; Graye, A.; Kaner, E.; Stead, M.; Power, C.; Fitzgerald, N.; Bradley, J.; Wrieden, W.; Adamson, A. Non-Pharmacological Interventions to Reduce Unhealthy Eating and Risky Drinking in Young Adults Aged 18–25 Years: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Nutrients 2018, 10, 1538.

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