Involvement of Young Australian Adults in Meal Preparation: Cross-Sectional Associations with Sociodemographic Factors and Diet Quality
Smith, KJ and McNaughton, SA and Gall, SL and Blizzard, L and Dwyer, T and Venn, A, Involvement of Young Australian Adults in Meal Preparation: Cross-Sectional Associations with Sociodemographic Factors and Diet Quality, Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 110, (9) pp. 1363-1367. ISSN 0002-8223 (2010) [Refereed Article]
Involvement in meal preparation has the potential to
affect diet quality, but has not been thoroughly investigated.
The study aims were to describe the involvement of
young adult men and women in meal preparation and to
investigate whether extent of involvement was associated
with diet quality. During 2004 to 2006, a national sample
of 2,814 Australian adults aged 26 to 36 years completed
a self-administered questionnaire on demographics, diet,
and lifestyle factors. Participants were asked to report
who was usually responsible for preparing the main meal
on working days. Responses were categorized as "myself,"
"shared," or "someone else." Diet quality was assessed by
calculating the mean number of daily servings for each
food group. Analysis of variance was used to test for
differences in means of dietary intake data. More women
(65%) than men (29%) had sole responsibility for meal
preparation. Shared meal preparation was reported by
23% of women and 27% of men. Factors associated with
greater involvement in meal preparation included marital
status, education, occupation, and physical activity.
After adjusting for sociodemographic and lifestyle factors,
men who prepared the main meal themselves had a
higher intake of lean meat and alternatives. Women who
shared the meal preparation had higher intakes of vegetables
and dairy; however, these differences in diet quality
were only small. These results suggest that strategies
seeking to motivate greater involvement in meal preparation
might not be sufficient to markedly improve diet
quality in young Australian adults.