Balancing Healthy Meals and Busy Lives: Associations between Work, School, and Family Responsibilities and Perceived Time Constraints among Young Adults

Jennifer E. Pelletier, Melissa N. Laska

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: To characterize associations between perceived time constraints for healthy eating and work, school, and family responsibilities among young adults. Design: Cross-sectional survey. Setting: A large, Midwestern metropolitan region. Participants: A diverse sample of community college (n = 598) and public university (n = 603) students. Main Outcome Measures: Time constraints in general, as well as those specific to meal preparation/structure, and perceptions of a healthy life balance. Analysis: Chi-square tests and multivariate logistic regression (α = .005). Results: Women, 4-year students, and students with lower socioeconomic status perceived more time constraints (P < .001-.002); students with lower socioeconomic status were less likely to have a healthy balance (P ≤ .003). Having a heavy course load and working longer hours were important predictors of time constraints among men (P < .001-.004), whereas living situation and being in a relationship were more important among women (P = .002-.003). Conclusions and Implications: Most young adults perceive time constraints on healthy dietary behaviors, yet some young adults appear able to maintain a healthy life balance despite multiple time demands. Interventions focused on improved time management strategies and nutrition-related messaging to achieve healthy diets on a low time budget may be more successful if tailored to the factors that contribute to time constraints separately among men and women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)481-489
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Nutrition Education and Behavior
Volume44
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI Grant 1 U54CA116849 , PI: R. Jeffery; K07CA126837 , PI: M. Laska) and the American Heart Association (Midwest Affiliate Office, Grant 2261399 , PI: M. Laska). The content of this manuscript is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Cancer Institute or the American Heart Association.

Keywords

  • College
  • Dietary behaviors
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Time constraints
  • Young adult

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Balancing Healthy Meals and Busy Lives: Associations between Work, School, and Family Responsibilities and Perceived Time Constraints among Young Adults'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this