Special Issue "Eating Habits and Health among College and University Students"

A special issue of Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643). This special issue belongs to the section "Nutrition and Public Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Melinda J. Hutchesson
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Priority Research Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition, School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medicine, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW, Australia
Interests: young adults; eHealth; public health interventions; maternal health
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Amanda Patterson
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medicine, and Priority Research Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia
Interests: diet quality; young women; iron deficiency; mental health; cognitive function
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Margaret Allman-Farinelli
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Charles Perkins Centre, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
Interests: young adults; diet patterns; nutrition promotion; food environments; social contexts and food
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The dietary intake and eating behaviours of university students are commonly poor and associated with poorer mental health, lower academic achievement, and increased risk of weight gain. Internationally, many universities and colleges are committed to being a “health-promoting university”, and implementing initiatives to promote the health and wellbeing of students. However, we currently lack strong evidence to guide the implementation of effective interventions, particularly those aimed at improving dietary intake/eating behaviours of students. Therefore, this Special Issue invites submissions on:

  • Dietary intake and eating behaviours of university/college students;
  • Determinants of dietary intake or eating behaviours of university/college students, including socioeconomic, cultural, environmental, social, and behavioural determinants;
  • Associations between dietary intake or eating behaviours of university/college students and their health status;
  • Interventions to improve the dietary intake or eating behaviours of university/college students, including those targeting individual behaviour, the food environment, and/or university policy.

Dr. Melinda J. Hutchesson
Dr. Amanda Patterson
Prof. Margaret Allman-Farinelli
Guest Editors

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 2400 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

  • university students
  • dietary intake
  • eating behaviours
  • mental health
  • obesity

Published Papers (15 papers)

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Research

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Article
Latent Class Analysis of Multiple Health Risk Behaviors among Australian University Students and Associations with Psychological Distress
Nutrients 2021, 13(2), 425; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13020425 - 28 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 915
Abstract
University students have high rates of health risk behaviors and psychological distress. This study explores patterns of health behaviors among a sample of Australian university students, and determines whether patterns of health behaviors are associated with psychological distress and demographic characteristics. Cross-sectional data [...] Read more.
University students have high rates of health risk behaviors and psychological distress. This study explores patterns of health behaviors among a sample of Australian university students, and determines whether patterns of health behaviors are associated with psychological distress and demographic characteristics. Cross-sectional data from the University of Newcastle Student Healthy Lifestyle Survey 2019 were analyzed. Fruit and vegetable intake, sugar-sweetened beverage intake, physical activity, sitting time, smoking, alcohol intake, drug use, sleep and psychological distress were assessed. Latent class analysis (LCA) was used to identify patterns of health risk behaviors, and latent class regression to explore associations between psychological distress and demographic characteristics with health behavior classes. Analysis included 1965 students (mean age 25.8 ± 8.6 years, 70.7% female). Three patterns of health behaviors were identified: healthier (48.6%), moderate (40.2%) and unhealthy (11.2%) lifestyle classes. Students in the moderate and unhealthy lifestyle classes had higher odds of moderate (OR 1.43 and 2.37) and high/very high psychological distress risk (OR 2.71 and 11.69). Students in the unhealthy and moderate lifestyle classes had a higher odds of being male, younger, enrolled in transition to university and English language courses, Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent and to report some financial difficulty. Study findings may be used to inform the design of mental health interventions for university students that target key health risk behaviors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eating Habits and Health among College and University Students)
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Article
The Mediating and Moderating Effects of Physical Fitness of the Relationship between Adherence to the Mediterranean Diet and Health-Related Quality of Life in University Students
Nutrients 2020, 12(11), 3578; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12113578 - 22 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 986
Abstract
The aim of this study was to estimate the relationship between the adherence to the Mediterranean diet (MD) and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in university students and to assess whether this relationship is mediated or moderated by cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) and handgrip [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to estimate the relationship between the adherence to the Mediterranean diet (MD) and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in university students and to assess whether this relationship is mediated or moderated by cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) and handgrip strength. A cross-sectional study was performed involving 310 first-year Spanish university students. Adherence to the MD was evaluated with the 14-item Mediterranean Diet Adherence Screener (MEDAS), and the HRQoL was evaluated with the Short Form-12 (SF-12) questionnaire. CRF was assessed by the 20 m shuttle run test, and the handgrip strength was determined by dynamometry. ANCOVA models showed that participants with higher CRF and handgrip strength levels had significantly higher scores in the physical component summary (PCS) and mental component summary (MCS) of the SF-12 and in the MEDAS questionnaire than those with medium and low scores (p < 0.050). Additionally, the ANCOVA models showed that students with good adherence to the MD showed higher scores in the MCS of HRQoL than those with low adherence (p = 0.044, ES = 0.013), but these results did not appear for the PCS of HRQoL (p = 0.728, ES = 0.001). In the mediation analysis, it was found that CRF and handgrip strength acted as full mediators of the relationship between adherence to the MD and the MCS of HRQoL. In the moderation analysis, it was evidenced that CRF and handgrip strength did not act as moderators in the relationship between adherence to the MD and the MCS of HRQoL. In conclusion, adherence to the MD does not seem to have a direct effect on the MCS of HRQoL because this association seems to be fully mediated by CRF and handgrip strength. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eating Habits and Health among College and University Students)
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Article
Impact of a Scalable, Multi-Campus “Foodprint” Seminar on College Students’ Dietary Intake and Dietary Carbon Footprint
Nutrients 2020, 12(9), 2890; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12092890 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1268
Abstract
Background: Dietary patterns affect both human health and environmental sustainability. Prior research found a ten-unit course on food systems and environmental sustainability shifted dietary intake and reduced dietary carbon footprint among college students. This research evaluated the impact of a similar, more scalable [...] Read more.
Background: Dietary patterns affect both human health and environmental sustainability. Prior research found a ten-unit course on food systems and environmental sustainability shifted dietary intake and reduced dietary carbon footprint among college students. This research evaluated the impact of a similar, more scalable one-unit Foodprint seminar taught at multiple universities. Methods: We used a quasi-experimental pre-post nonequivalent comparison group design (n = 176). As part of the Menus of Change University Research Collaborative, research was conducted at three university campuses in California over four academic terms. All campuses used the same curriculum, which incorporates academic readings, group discussions, and skills-based exercises to evaluate the environmental footprint of different foods. The comparison group comprised students taking unrelated one-unit courses at the same universities. A questionnaire was administered at the beginning and end of each term. Results: Students who took the Foodprint seminar significantly improved their reported vegetable intake by 4.7 weekly servings relative to the comparison group. They also reported significantly decreasing intake of ruminant meat and sugar-sweetened beverages. As a result of dietary shifts, Foodprint seminar students were estimated to have significantly decreased their dietary carbon footprint by 14%. Conclusions: A scalable, one-unit Foodprint seminar may simultaneously promote environmental sustainability and human health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eating Habits and Health among College and University Students)
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Article
Faith in Fat: A Multisite Examination of University Students’ Perceptions of Fat in the Diet
Nutrients 2020, 12(9), 2560; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12092560 - 24 Aug 2020
Viewed by 1402
Abstract
Despite recent relaxation of restrictions on dietary fat consumption in dietary guidelines, there remains a collective “fear of fat”. This study examined college students’ perceptions of health among foods with no fat relative to foods with different types of fats (unsaturated and saturated). [...] Read more.
Despite recent relaxation of restrictions on dietary fat consumption in dietary guidelines, there remains a collective “fear of fat”. This study examined college students’ perceptions of health among foods with no fat relative to foods with different types of fats (unsaturated and saturated). Utilizing a multisite approach, this study collected data from college students at six university dining halls throughout the United States. Data were available on 533 students. Participants were 52% male and consisted largely of first-year students (43%). Across three meal types, the no-fat preparation option was chosen 73% of the time, the unsaturated fat option was selected 23% of the time, and the saturated fat option was chosen 4% of the time. Students chose the no-fat option for all meal types 44% of the time. Findings suggest that college students lack knowledge regarding the vital role played by the type and amount of fats within a healthy diet. Nutrition education and food system reforms are needed to help consumers understand that type of fat is more important than total amount of fat. Efforts across various sectors can encourage incorporating, rather than avoiding, fats within healthy dietary patterns. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eating Habits and Health among College and University Students)
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Article
Promoting a Healthy Lifestyle through Mindfulness in University Students: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Nutrients 2020, 12(8), 2450; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12082450 - 14 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1693
Abstract
The present study explored the effects of a second-generation mindfulness-based intervention known as flow meditation (Meditación-Fluir) in the improvement of healthy life behaviors. A sample of university students (n = 51) in Spain were randomly assigned to a seven-week mindfulness [...] Read more.
The present study explored the effects of a second-generation mindfulness-based intervention known as flow meditation (Meditación-Fluir) in the improvement of healthy life behaviors. A sample of university students (n = 51) in Spain were randomly assigned to a seven-week mindfulness treatment or a waiting list control group. Results showed that compared to the control group, individuals in the mindfulness group demonstrated significant improvements across all outcome measures including healthy eating habits (balanced diet, intake rate, snacking between meals, decrease in consumption by negative emotional states, increased consumption by negative emotional states, amount of consumption, meal times, consumption of low-fat products), tobacco, alcohol, and cannabis consumption, and resting habits. There were differences between males and females in some of these variables and a better effect of the treatment was evident in the females of the experimental group when compared to the males. The flow meditation program shows promise for fostering a healthy lifestyle, thus decreasing behaviors related to maladaptive eating, tobacco, alcohol, and cannabis consumption as well as negative rest habits in university students. This mindfulness program could significantly contribute to the treatment of eating disorders and addictions, wherein negative emotional states and impulsivity are central features of the condition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eating Habits and Health among College and University Students)
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Article
Association between the Inflammatory Potential of Diet and Stress among Female College Students
Nutrients 2020, 12(8), 2389; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12082389 - 10 Aug 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1263
Abstract
A pro-inflammatory diet may have an adverse influence on stress and inflammatory biomarker levels among college students. The dietary inflammatory index (DII®) is a tool used to assess the inflammatory potential of a diet. However, evidence for the association between DII [...] Read more.
A pro-inflammatory diet may have an adverse influence on stress and inflammatory biomarker levels among college students. The dietary inflammatory index (DII®) is a tool used to assess the inflammatory potential of a diet. However, evidence for the association between DII and stress is limited. We examined the association between energy-adjusted DII (E-DIITM), high sensitivity-C-reactive protein [hs-CRP], and stress among female college students. This cross-sectional study included 401 randomly selected female students, aged 19–35 years. Data collection included blood, anthropometric measurements, a healthy-history questionnaire, the perceived stress scale (PSS-10), the Saudi food frequency questionnaire (FFQ), and E-DII. Multiple linear regression analyses were used to examine the association between FFQ-derived E-DII score, hs-CRP, and PSS. A higher E-DII score per 1SD (1.8) was associated with a 2.4-times higher PSS score (95% CI: 1.8, 3.1). Higher hs-CRP per 1SD (3.3 mg/L) was associated with a 0.9 (95% CI: 0.7–1.1) times higher PSS score, independent of lifestyle and dietary factors. Our findings indicate that pro-inflammatory diets were highly prevalent among Saudi college students and were associated with higher stress levels. Consideration of the role of stress and focusing on anti-inflammatory foods may be key for healthier dietary habits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eating Habits and Health among College and University Students)
Article
“It’s Important but, on What Level?”: Healthy Cooking Meanings and Barriers to Healthy Eating among University Students
Nutrients 2020, 12(8), 2309; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12082309 - 31 Jul 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1716
Abstract
The negative impact of a sedentary lifestyle and poor diet on health is evident across the lifespan, but particularly during the university period. Usually, the diet of university students is rich in sweetened drinks and processed foods and low in fruits, vegetables and [...] Read more.
The negative impact of a sedentary lifestyle and poor diet on health is evident across the lifespan, but particularly during the university period. Usually, the diet of university students is rich in sweetened drinks and processed foods and low in fruits, vegetables and legumes. Although there is an association between maintaining a healthy diet and the frequency of cooking at home, the time currently spent on cooking or learning how to cook is decreasing globally. The main aim of this study was to explore university students’ perceptions about healthy cooking and barriers to eating healthily. A group of 26 students participated in four focus groups. Content analysis was conducted using Atlas.ti v.8. Students perceived cooking healthily as a more complicated and time-consuming process than cooking in general. Individual and environmental factors were the most reported barriers. Costs and time, among others, were the main barriers pointed out by students with regard to healthy eating. This study highlights the need to develop interventions that modify these false perceptions about cooking healthily, and to train students so that they are able to cook healthy meals in a quick, easy, and cost-effective way. Further, specific actions are required in the university setting to minimize access to unhealthy options and to promote those linked to healthy eating. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eating Habits and Health among College and University Students)
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Article
Are Adherence to the Mediterranean Diet, Emotional Eating, Alcohol Intake, and Anxiety Related in University Students in Spain?
Nutrients 2020, 12(8), 2224; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12082224 - 25 Jul 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1429
Abstract
Research has suggested that university students are at risk from certain unhealthy habits, such as poor diet or alcohol abuse. At the same time, anxiety levels appear to be higher among university students, which may lead to high levels of emotional eating. The [...] Read more.
Research has suggested that university students are at risk from certain unhealthy habits, such as poor diet or alcohol abuse. At the same time, anxiety levels appear to be higher among university students, which may lead to high levels of emotional eating. The aim of this study was to analyze the degree of adherence to the Mediterranean diet (AMD), emotional eating, alcohol intake, and anxiety among Spanish university students, and the interrelationship of these variables. A total of 252 university students filled out the Mediterranean Diet Quality Index (KIDMED) questionnaire for Mediterranean diet adherence, an Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test, a State-Trait Anxiety Inventory and the Emotional Eater Questionnaire. We analyzed descriptive data, a t-test and analysis of variance (ANOVA) for differences, a Pearson correlation, and multiple regression tests. Results showed low levels of AMD among university students (15.5%) and considerable levels of emotional eating (29%) and anxiety (23.6%). However, levels of alcohol dependence were low (2.4%). State-anxiety was a predictor of the emotional eater score and its subscales, and sex also was predictive of subscale guilt and the total score. However, AMD was predicted only by trait-anxiety. These models accounted for between 1.9% and 19%. The results suggest the need for the implementation of educational programs to promote healthy habits among university students at risk. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eating Habits and Health among College and University Students)
Article
Examining the Role of Anxiety and Depression in Dietary Choices among College Students
Nutrients 2020, 12(7), 2061; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12072061 - 11 Jul 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2101
Abstract
This study examines the role of anxiety and depression symptoms in predicting dietary choices in emerging adults while accounting for sex differences in these relationships. Participants were 225 English speaking undergraduates enrolled in a university in southeastern United States. Participants were recruited through [...] Read more.
This study examines the role of anxiety and depression symptoms in predicting dietary choices in emerging adults while accounting for sex differences in these relationships. Participants were 225 English speaking undergraduates enrolled in a university in southeastern United States. Participants were recruited through an online research recruitment application utilized by the university. Participants volunteered for a two-phased anonymous survey monitoring the effects of eating habits and gastrointestinal health in young adults. As part of this effort, participants completed self-reporting measures related to anxiety and depression, as well as an automated, self-administered 24-h diet recall. Multigroup path analysis was used to test primary hypotheses. Overall, a decrease in total caloric intake and an increase in sugar consumption were found as self-reported symptoms of anxiety and depression increased. In addition, there were sex differences in the relationship between depression and food choices. Men consumed more saturated fat as well as less fruits and vegetables as self-reported symptoms of depression increased. Results suggest symptoms of depression are a greater risk factor for poor nutrition in male college students than females. The findings provide another justification to screen for psychological distress in student health services given the implications on behavioral lifestyle and health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eating Habits and Health among College and University Students)
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Article
Associations between Chronotype, Adherence to the Mediterranean Diet and Sexual Opinion among University Students
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1900; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061900 - 26 Jun 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1565
Abstract
A person’s chronotype determines different habits, among which are eating and physical activity. Furthermore, at the university stage, social and organisational factors have a direct effect on students’ daily attitudes and habits. Adherence to the Mediterranean diet is linked to better sleep quality [...] Read more.
A person’s chronotype determines different habits, among which are eating and physical activity. Furthermore, at the university stage, social and organisational factors have a direct effect on students’ daily attitudes and habits. Adherence to the Mediterranean diet is linked to better sleep quality and less social jet lag, but association with chronotype or sexual opinion remains unclear. The aim of this study was to assess the associations between chronotype, adherence to the Mediterranean Diet, and sexual opinion. A multicentre observational study enrolled 457 students, from the University of Castilla-La Mancha and the University of Cordoba. Sociodemographic data and adherence to the Mediterranean diet, chronotype, physical activity, and sexual opinion were collected with validated questionnaires. The study period was from December 2017 to January 2018. Our results reported that students with an evening chronotype (E-type), with evening preferences, had a lower adherence to the Mediterranean diet and showed a higher tendency towards erotophilia. E-type students reported a significantly lower intake of fruits, vegetables, pulses, cereals, and olive oil, and higher breakfast skipping. Therefore, among the measures to promote healthy habits (obesity prevention, sexual education, socialisation, etc.), chronotype and an analysis of the impact of the schedules established by the universities must be considered. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eating Habits and Health among College and University Students)
Article
Strategies to Improve Health Communication: Can Health Professionals Be Heroes?
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1861; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061861 - 22 Jun 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2291
Abstract
Communicating evidence-based nutrition messages to the public is challenging and is often in conflict with popular opinions, particularly from social media influencers (SMIs). In order to increase engagement with nutrition professionals (NPs) on social media, we aimed to explore young adults’ perceptions of [...] Read more.
Communicating evidence-based nutrition messages to the public is challenging and is often in conflict with popular opinions, particularly from social media influencers (SMIs). In order to increase engagement with nutrition professionals (NPs) on social media, we aimed to explore young adults’ perceptions of the authenticity and trustworthiness of SMIs and NPs Instagram posts. A cross-sectional questionnaire was administered to students (n = 149) from an Australian University. Participants viewed a real-life Instagram profile and one post from both a NP and a SMI. Main outcomes were post authenticity and trustworthiness, and emotional message appeals measured on five-point Likert scales. Regression models were developed to assess whose post (the NP or SMI) was perceived to be more authentic and trustworthy. Participants were young adults (median age (25th, 75th percentiles): 20 (19,21)), with approximately half identifying as female. A high heroic message appeal (+1SD above mean) significantly increased the perceived authenticity of the NPs post only (p = 0.01). Post authenticity enhanced post trustworthiness, but only when a heroic message appeal was used by the NP. When appropriate, NPs should convey positive emotions such as bravery and success to enhance the authenticity and trustworthiness of their posts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eating Habits and Health among College and University Students)
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Article
Momentary Physical Activity Co-Occurs with Healthy and Unhealthy Dietary Intake in African American College Freshmen
Nutrients 2020, 12(5), 1360; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12051360 - 09 May 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1408
Abstract
Background: Research investigating interrelations between physical activity and dietary intake has primarily used retrospective, summary-based measures of behavior subject to increased recall bias. This study used ecological momentary assessment (EMA) methods with accelerometry to determine within-day, momentary associations between physical activity and dietary [...] Read more.
Background: Research investigating interrelations between physical activity and dietary intake has primarily used retrospective, summary-based measures of behavior subject to increased recall bias. This study used ecological momentary assessment (EMA) methods with accelerometry to determine within-day, momentary associations between physical activity and dietary intake behaviors in African American college freshmen. Methods: Participants (N = 50) completed a dietary EMA protocol that assessed food/fluids consumed over the past 2 h at five random times per day and wore an activPAL accelerometer for 7 days to measure physical activity. Physical activity was operationalized as step counts in the 2 h prior to the EMA prompt (matching the EMA recall window). Results: On occasions when participants took more steps than was typical for them in the 2 h prior to the EMA prompt, they were more likely to consume sugar-sweetened beverages (OR = 1.37, p < 0.001), water (OR = 1.28, p < 0.001), fruit (OR = 1.44, p < 0.001), vegetables (OR = 1.19, p = 0.02), and fried fast food (OR = 1.21, p = 0.04) over that same time. Conclusion: Momentary physical activity co-occurred with momentary consumption of both healthy and unhealthy dietary intake. These behavioral interrelations suggest potential implications for obesity risk and multiple health behavior change interventions in young adult African Americans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eating Habits and Health among College and University Students)
Article
The Development of Cooking Videos to Encourage Calcium Intake in Young Adults
Nutrients 2020, 12(5), 1236; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12051236 - 27 Apr 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1366
Abstract
Young adults are among the lowest consumers of calcium-rich foods. As young adults move out of home and commence university, meal skipping, food budgets and poor cooking skills may contribute to low intakes. This research aimed to develop and evaluate cooking videos to [...] Read more.
Young adults are among the lowest consumers of calcium-rich foods. As young adults move out of home and commence university, meal skipping, food budgets and poor cooking skills may contribute to low intakes. This research aimed to develop and evaluate cooking videos to educate young adults about calcium-containing foods and provide demonstrations for culinary skills training. Fifteen short videos were designed that required minimal cooking skills, ingredients of low cost, and covered main meals and snacks. Thirty-four young adults (nine males) participated in four focus groups to assess usability and desirability of content and explore barriers to cooking. Individually completed questionnaires assessed knowledge and motivation gained post-video screening. Qualitative data were analysed with both a deductive and inductive thematic approach, and questionnaires using descriptive statistics. Video content was well accepted, most participants reported knowledge was gained and their motivation to prepare food at home and consume calcium-rich foods increased. Cooking videos appear to be a well-accepted alternative to formal classes to demonstrate calcium-rich meals that can be quickly prepared. In the future, the videos should be tested in a trial of effectiveness as social media presents a dissemination opportunity for these videos among university and college students. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eating Habits and Health among College and University Students)
Article
Language of Health of Young Australian Adults: A Qualitative Exploration of Perceptions of Health, Wellbeing and Health Promotion via Online Conversations
Nutrients 2020, 12(4), 887; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12040887 - 25 Mar 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1830
Abstract
Young adults (YA) are in a critical stage of life for the encouragement of healthy behaviours such as healthy eating and exercising. This research explored Australian YA values and perceptions related to health, healthy behaviours and health promotion efforts. This qualitative analysis involved [...] Read more.
Young adults (YA) are in a critical stage of life for the encouragement of healthy behaviours such as healthy eating and exercising. This research explored Australian YA values and perceptions related to health, healthy behaviours and health promotion efforts. This qualitative analysis involved n = 166, Australian 18–24 year-olds recruited through a market research field house. Participants (63% currently studying at tertiary level) engaged in a facilitated in-depth online conversation around health and healthy eating over four weeks. LeximancerTM and manual inductive thematic coding were utilised for analysis via the lens of emerging adulthood and health communication theories. Health was seen as multi-faceted, with particular importance placed on mental health and exercise. Some participants focussed on physical appearance, often fuelled by comparison to others. Many believed that at their age and health status, adopting health-enhancing behaviours without short-term tangible benefits was not a priority. Participants did not prioritise health-enhancing behaviours due to barriers such as a perceived lack of money, knowledge and time often due to studying or working and perceived effort. Strategies they proposed to encourage healthy eating included: incentivising healthy food; quick and affordable healthy recipes; and communicating the short-term tangible benefits of healthy behaviours. There is a need for focussed health messaging that address the needs and desires of YA and directly address the barriers they face. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eating Habits and Health among College and University Students)
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Review

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Review
Effectiveness of Nutrition Interventions in Vending Machines to Encourage the Purchase and Consumption of Healthier Food and Drinks in the University Setting: A Systematic Review
Nutrients 2020, 12(3), 876; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12030876 - 24 Mar 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1638
Abstract
University food environments typically offer an abundance of unhealthy foods, including through vending machines. This review evaluated the effectiveness of nutrition interventions in vending machines in the university setting. Ten databases were searched for experimental studies published up to July 2019, evaluating nutrition [...] Read more.
University food environments typically offer an abundance of unhealthy foods, including through vending machines. This review evaluated the effectiveness of nutrition interventions in vending machines in the university setting. Ten databases were searched for experimental studies published up to July 2019, evaluating nutrition interventions that aimed to encourage the purchase or consumption of healthier foods and drinks in vending machines in the university setting. In total, 401 articles were identified, and 13 studies were included. Studies were pre-post test (n = 7, 54%), randomized controlled trials (RCTs) (n = 5, 38%), and non-randomized controlled trial (n = 1, 8%). Most studies were from the USA (n = 10, 77%) and were published between 2014 and 2018 (n = 9, 69%). Eight interventions (62%) reported positive change in outcomes, including increased number/proportion of sales or revenue from healthier items (n = 6), improved adherence to guidelines for the ratio of healthy/unhealthy products available (n = 1), and improved consumer perception of items available (n = 1). Effective interventions involved the promotion, reduced pricing, increased availability, and/or optimized product placement of healthier items within vending machines. Strategies to improve the nutritional quality of food and drinks in vending machines are warranted. This may be achieved by making healthier options more available and promoting them; however, more robust intervention studies are needed to determine effectiveness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eating Habits and Health among College and University Students)
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