January 7, 2009

Many young U.S. adults have no time to eat

Thirty-five percent of U.S. men ages 18 to 25 and 42 percent of women in the same age group say they do not have time to sit down for a meal.

Researchers at the University of Minnesota say the study of 1,687 adults ages 18 to 25 found a majority agreed they enjoy social eating, and feel it is important to have social eating experiences as well as regular meals. But because of constraints on their time from school or work, a significant portion of respondents regularly have to eat on the run.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, found eating dinner with others was significantly associated with a healthier diet including fruits and vegetables.

Eating on the run tended to include more soft drinks, fast food, total fat and saturated fat, the researchers said.

Post secondary institutions and businesses employing young adults should be encouraged to support good nutrition by providing scheduled time and access to facilities for meals, along with healthful meal and snack options, the study authors said in a statement.