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Special Issue "Dietary Behaviours during Young Adulthood"

A special issue of Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2018

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Melinda J. Hutchesson

Univ Newcastle, Prior Res Ctr Phys Act & Nutr, Hunter Bldg, HA12, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia
Website | E-Mail
Interests: young adults; nutrition; eHealth; weight management

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Young adults (18–35 years) are on a weight gain trajectory, which is placing them at increased risk of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Poor dietary behaviours among young adults, including low intake of fruit and vegetables, and high intake of foods prepared outside the home, and sugar-sweetened beverages, are key factors contributing to this weight gain trajectory. Young adulthood however is a transitional life stage including many significant life changes, such as leaving the family home, commencing university or entering the workforce. Therefore, there are potentially many factors influencing young adults eating habits, and our ability to intervene to improve them.

Dr. Melinda J. Hutchesson
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Nutrients is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Food intake and dietary behaviour of young adults
  • Determinants of dietary behaviours and weight gain in young adults
  • Interventions aiming to improve dietary behaviours among young adults
  • Measuring dietary behaviours in young adults

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle College Students and Eating Habits: A Study Using An Ecological Model for Healthy Behavior
Nutrients 2018, 10(12), 1823; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10121823
Received: 15 September 2018 / Revised: 19 October 2018 / Accepted: 20 November 2018 / Published: 23 November 2018
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Abstract
Overweightness and obesity rates have increased dramatically over the past few decades and they represent a health epidemic in the United States (US). Unhealthy dietary habits are among the factors that can have adverse effects on weight status in young adulthood. The purpose
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Overweightness and obesity rates have increased dramatically over the past few decades and they represent a health epidemic in the United States (US). Unhealthy dietary habits are among the factors that can have adverse effects on weight status in young adulthood. The purpose of this explorative study was to use a qualitative research design to analyze the factors (barriers and enablers) that US college students perceived as influencing healthy eating behaviors. A group of Cornell University students (n = 35) participated in six semi-structured focus groups. A qualitative software, CAQDAS Nvivo11 Plus, was used to create codes that categorized the group discussions while using an Ecological Model. Common barriers to healthy eating were time constraints, unhealthy snacking, convenience high-calorie food, stress, high prices of healthy food, and easy access to junk food. Conversely, enablers to healthy behavior were improved food knowledge and education, meal planning, involvement in food preparation, and being physically active. Parental food behavior and friends’ social pressure were considered to have both positive and negative influences on individual eating habits. The study highlighted the importance of consulting college students when developing healthy eating interventions across the campus (e.g., labeling healthy food options and information campaigns) and considering individual-level factors and socio-ecological aspects in the analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Behaviours during Young Adulthood)
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Open AccessArticle Diet Quality through Adolescence and Early Adulthood: Cross-Sectional Associations of the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension Diet Index and Component Food Groups with Age
Nutrients 2018, 10(11), 1585; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10111585
Received: 14 September 2018 / Revised: 19 October 2018 / Accepted: 21 October 2018 / Published: 29 October 2018
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Abstract
Late adolescence to early adulthood is the period of life when prevalence of overweight and obesity rises the fastest, and an important time to understand changes in dietary risk factors. In this study we assess the variation in diet quality through analysis of
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Late adolescence to early adulthood is the period of life when prevalence of overweight and obesity rises the fastest, and an important time to understand changes in dietary risk factors. In this study we assess the variation in diet quality through analysis of cross-sectional data from 2957 individuals aged 13 to 30 from the National Diet and Nutrition Study (2008–2016). Diet data were self-reported using four-day food diaries and coded to give diet quality using the dietary approaches to stop hypertension (DASH) index (range 0–80) and DASH component food groups (grams/day). The mean DASH index score was low at 34.8 (95% confidence interval (CI) = 34.3–35.4). The regression of diet quality score and food groups on age categories revealed no significant change in diet quality score with age category in males, but an improved diet quality score among females aged 19–21 (β = 2.04, 95% CI = 0.05–4.02), 25–27 (β = 3.77, 95% CI = 1.36–6.18) and 28–30 (β = 2.39, 95% CI = 0.53–4.26), compared to age 13–15. Both sexes showed increased vegetable intake with age. Dairy intake was lower in early adult ages among males, while in females there was an increase in the proportion of low-fat dairy consumed with age. Further research should address the determinants of changes in diet in early adulthood to provide evidence for the targeting of public health policy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Behaviours during Young Adulthood)
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Open AccessArticle Multilevel Structural Equation Modeling of Students’ Dietary Intentions/Behaviors, BMI, and the Healthfulness of Convenience Stores
Nutrients 2018, 10(11), 1569; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10111569
Received: 18 September 2018 / Revised: 17 October 2018 / Accepted: 20 October 2018 / Published: 23 October 2018
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Abstract
Background: When dietary behaviors are habitual, intentions are low, and environmental cues, such as the consumer food environment, might guide behavior. How might intentions to eat healthily and ultimately actual dietary behaviors, be influenced by the consumer food environment (including the availability and
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Background: When dietary behaviors are habitual, intentions are low, and environmental cues, such as the consumer food environment, might guide behavior. How might intentions to eat healthily and ultimately actual dietary behaviors, be influenced by the consumer food environment (including the availability and affordability of healthy foods) in convenience stores? This study will determine pathways between the healthfulness of convenience stores and college students’ dietary intentions/behaviors, and body mass index (BMI). Methods: Through multilevel structural equation modeling, a comparison was made of students’ healthful meal intentions (HMI); intake (fruits/vegetables, %kcal/fat, sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) and whole-grains); and measured BMI; as well as the healthfulness of convenience stores (fruits/vegetables availability/quality, healthy food availability/affordability). Data was collected on 1401 students and 41 convenience stores across 13 US college campuses. Results: Controlling for gender, HMI was negatively associated with SSBs (β = −0.859) and %kcal/fat (β = −1.057) and positively with whole-grains (β = 0.186) and fruits/vegetables intake (β = 0.267); %Kcal/fat was positively (β = 0.098) and fruits/vegetables intake (β = −0.055) negatively associated with BMI. Campus level, fruits/vegetables availability were positively associated to HMI (β = 0.214, β = 0.129) and directly/negatively to BMI (β = −2.657, β = −1.124). Conclusions: HMI modifies dietary behaviors, with energy from fat and fruit/vegetable intake the most predictive of weight. Availability of fruit/vegetables in convenience stores make it easier for young adults to eat well. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Behaviours during Young Adulthood)
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Open AccessArticle Examining Associations between Body Mass Index in 18–25 Year-Olds and Energy Intake from Alcohol: Findings from the Health Survey for England and the Scottish Health Survey
Nutrients 2018, 10(10), 1477; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10101477
Received: 12 September 2018 / Revised: 3 October 2018 / Accepted: 5 October 2018 / Published: 10 October 2018
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Abstract
Evidence on the relationship between alcohol consumption and body mass index (BMI) is mixed, particularly for young adults. This study explored the relationship between energy obtained from alcoholic beverages and BMI using data for 18–25 year-olds (n = 7691) from pooled cross-sections
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Evidence on the relationship between alcohol consumption and body mass index (BMI) is mixed, particularly for young adults. This study explored the relationship between energy obtained from alcoholic beverages and BMI using data for 18–25 year-olds (n = 7691) from pooled cross-sections of the 2008–2014 Health Survey for England and the Scottish Health Survey. Energy obtained from alcoholic beverages (excluding mixers) on the heaviest drinking day in the past week was expressed as percentage of total recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of energy (% RDA Energy). Linear regressions were estimated of BMI on alcohol intake categories controlling for intake frequency, physical activity, longstanding illness and other covariates, with separate analyses for men and women, and by beverage type. Significant associations with BMI were observed with the ‘Very High’ category of alcohol intake (>75% RDA Energy) for men (p < 0.001, 1.74, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.98, 2.49) and with the “High” (>50% to 75% RDA Energy) (p < 0.001, 1.67, 95% CI 0.26, 2.58) and above category for women, when compared with the Low (>0–25% RDA Energy) category. Young adults drinking the highest levels of alcohol on a single occasion were more likely to be obese than those with the lowest intake. Interventions to address internationally rising youth obesity rates should also consider reducing alcohol consumption by increasing alcohol prices, and reducing availability and marketing exposure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Behaviours during Young Adulthood)
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Open AccessArticle ‘Buying Salad Is a Lot More Expensive than Going to McDonalds’: Young Adults’ Views about What Influences Their Food Choices
Nutrients 2018, 10(8), 996; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10080996
Received: 28 June 2018 / Revised: 21 July 2018 / Accepted: 24 July 2018 / Published: 30 July 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (396 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Young adults (18–30 years of age) are an ‘at-risk’ group for poor dietary behaviours and less healthy food choices. Previous research with young adults has looked at the barriers and enablers driving their food choices, focusing primarily on university and college students. However,
[...] Read more.
Young adults (18–30 years of age) are an ‘at-risk’ group for poor dietary behaviours and less healthy food choices. Previous research with young adults has looked at the barriers and enablers driving their food choices, focusing primarily on university and college students. However, there is less research using qualitative methods with young adults as a broader population group. This study aimed to explore the experiences of young adults in two different yet similar settings: Sydney, Australia and Glasgow, Scotland. Eight focus groups of young adult participants, ranging in size from 2–6 participants, were held in Sydney, Australia (n = 14) and Glasgow, Scotland (n = 16) to discuss, explore and compare the determinants and influences of their food choices. Focus group transcripts were coded thematically based on a process of narrative analysis. Three major narratives were identified across both locations: value of food; appeal of food; and emotional connections with food. These narratives were underpinned by a broader narrative of ‘performing adulthood.’ This narrative reflected a belief amongst participants that they should make rational, informed choices about food despite this conflicting with their broader food environment. Future research could examine which environment-level or policy-based interventions are most acceptable to young adults in terms of influencing their food choices and dietary behaviours. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Behaviours during Young Adulthood)
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Open AccessArticle Cross-Sectional Associations between Dietary Fat-Related Behaviors and Continuous Metabolic Syndrome Score among Young Australian Adults
Nutrients 2018, 10(8), 972; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10080972
Received: 27 June 2018 / Revised: 24 July 2018 / Accepted: 25 July 2018 / Published: 26 July 2018
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Abstract
Dietary guidelines recommend removing visible fat from meat, choosing low-fat options and cooking with oil instead of butter. This study examined cross-sectional associations between fat-related eating behaviors and a continuous metabolic syndrome (cMetSyn) score among young adults. During 2004–2006, 2071 participants aged 26–36
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Dietary guidelines recommend removing visible fat from meat, choosing low-fat options and cooking with oil instead of butter. This study examined cross-sectional associations between fat-related eating behaviors and a continuous metabolic syndrome (cMetSyn) score among young adults. During 2004–2006, 2071 participants aged 26–36 years reported how often they trimmed fat from meat, consumed low-fat dairy products and used different types of fat for cooking. A fasting blood sample was collected. Blood pressure, weight and height were measured. To create the cMetSyn score, sex-specific principal component analysis was applied to normalized risk factors of the harmonized definition of metabolic syndrome. Higher score indicates higher risk. For each behavior, differences in mean cMetSyn score were calculated using linear regression adjusted for confounders. Analyses were stratified by weight status (Body mass index (BMI) < 25 kg/m2 or ≥ 25 kg/m2). Mean cMetSyn score was positively associated with consumption of low-fat oily dressing (PTrend = 0.013) among participants who were healthy weight and frequency of using canola/sunflower oil for cooking (PTrend = 0.008) among participants who were overweight/obese. Trimming fat from meat, cooking with olive oil, cooking with butter, and consuming low-fat dairy products were not associated with cMetSyn score. Among young adults, following fat-related dietary recommendations tended to not be associated with metabolic risk. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Behaviours during Young Adulthood)

Review

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Open AccessReview 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(10), 1538; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10101538
Received: 13 September 2018 / Revised: 10 October 2018 / Accepted: 15 October 2018 / Published: 18 October 2018
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Abstract
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
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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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Behaviours during Young Adulthood)
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Open AccessReview Understanding Eating Behavior during the Transition from Adolescence to Young Adulthood: A Literature Review and Perspective on Future Research Directions
Nutrients 2018, 10(6), 667; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10060667
Received: 22 April 2018 / Revised: 18 May 2018 / Accepted: 22 May 2018 / Published: 24 May 2018
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (608 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Introduction: Eating behavior often becomes unhealthier during the transition from adolescence to young adulthood, but not much is known about the factors that drive this change. We assess the available evidence on this topic through a literature review and pay special attention to
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Introduction: Eating behavior often becomes unhealthier during the transition from adolescence to young adulthood, but not much is known about the factors that drive this change. We assess the available evidence on this topic through a literature review and pay special attention to the research designs employed in the studies available as well as the modifiability of the factors investigated in previous research. Method: We systematically conducted a scoping review by searching literature published in or after 2000 in three databases that described one or more factors associated with eating behavior or changes in eating behavior during the transition from adolescence to adulthood in the general population. Our search identified eighteen articles meeting these inclusion criteria. The socio-ecological DONE (Determinants of Nutrition and Eating) framework, a recently developed dynamic framework of factors shaping dietary behavior, was used to structure and categorize the factors identified. Results: Most factors identified in the literature were individual-level factors (67%) such as food beliefs, time constraints, and taste preferences; on the other hand, interpersonal-level factors (e.g., social support), environmental-level factors (e.g., product characteristics) and policy-level factors (e.g., market regulations) have been reported on less extensively. Furthermore, most factors discussed in the literature have been classified in the DONE framework as not easily modifiable. Moreover, previous studies largely used static research designs and focused primarily on one specific population (US freshmen). Discussion: This systematic scoping review identified several gaps in the available literature that hinder insight into the drivers of eating behavior (change) during the transition from adolescence to young adulthood. There is an urgent need for research on broader populations, employing dynamic repeated-measures designs, and taking modifiability of factors into account. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Behaviours during Young Adulthood)
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