AuthorStewart, Bethene Nebel.
KeywordsFood consumption -- United States.
Food habits -- United States.
Young adults -- United States -- Attitudes.
Diet -- Public opinion.
Nutrition surveys -- United States.
Committee ChairTinsley, Ann
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis study surveyed working young adults to explore their food choice influences. Focus group data determined which food choice influences were important for young adults and were used to develop a pilot survey. Analysis of the pilot survey assisted in revising the survey which was again pilot tested; minor revisions were made before data collection. The sample included 18-24 year old young adults who were taking nine or fewer credit hours and were not living with a parent or child. Of the 111 subjects, 42 percent were male, 64 percent female; 77 percent Caucasian, 16 percent Hispanic; and 68 percent were taking no classes. The food choice influences which appear to be the strongest for working young adults are, in order of strength: Appearance of food, Taste, What was eaten as a child, Convenience, What friends eat, Health, Calorie content, Advertising, and Price. Appearance of food and taste were much stronger than the rest. Cluster analysis identified three groups of working young adults: Socially-oriented, health-oriented, and time-oriented. The socially-oriented group viewed what friends ate and convenience as significantly more important. This group tended to be less educated. Health-oriented working young adults rated eating healthy and low-calorie foods as significantly more important while they were significantly less concerned about price and advertising. Time-oriented working young adults were significantly less concerned about eating healthy foods and thought their time for food preparation was significantly less adequate. Taste and appearance of food were significantly less important for this group. Time-oriented working young adults tended to be the most educated. The proportion of males and females in each cluster was approximately equal to the sample distribution. Nutrition educators should focus less on health, calories, and price and more on taste and appearance in their nutrition messages; cooking demonstrations and food samples are suggested approaches. Nutrition education messages also need to recognize that an effective message to one young adult may be ineffective with another. Targeting nutrition messages to various types of young adults may result in realizing greater success in promoting adoption of healthier eating patterns.
Degree ProgramNutritional Sciences