Deakin University’s Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research (C-PAN) is seeking young adults aged 18 to 30 years old to be part of an exciting new study, called the MEALS study, to understand meal patterns and the likely influences on their snacking and meal skipping behaviours.
C-PAN Associate Professor Sarah McNaughton, also an Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitian, said that we need to understand these behaviours so that we can determine how best to help young adults make better food choices.
“Snacking and meal skipping have been documented to be associated with many diet related chronic diseases and some of the highest rates of both eating patterns are seen in young adults.
“Young adult life can often coincide with changes in living circumstances, work, finances and other major life transitions such as marriage and starting families and these all have the potential to impact on food choices.
“This group are an important target for research in the area of meal patterns as they are a major risk group for weight gain and eat particularly poor diets. They frequently report time constraints as a major barrier to healthy eating and this can also affect meal patterns including preparation and content of meals,” said Associate Professor Sarah McNaughton.
The MEALS study (Measuring Eating in Everyday Life Study) is currently recruiting young adults 18-30 years who own a smartphone, live in Victoria and are not pregnant or breastfeeding.
As part of the study the C-PAN researchers will use a smartphone app to assess meals patterns. Participants will be asked to keep a diary of all the food and drinks consumed over four days using a food diary app.
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C-PAN’s work in physical activity and nutrition is leading the world globally in numerous areas including research into disadvantaged communities, children’s health and healthy ageing.
Funding for this study is provided by an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery grant.
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