Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Do young adults value sustainable diet practices? Continuity in values from adolescence to adulthood and linkages to dietary behaviour

  • Nicole Larson (a1), Melissa N Laska (a1) and Dianne Neumark-Sztainer (a1)

Abstract

Objective:

To describe continuity over time in reports of valuing sustainable diet practices and investigate relationships between values, household meal behaviours and dietary intake.

Design:

Observational study. Participant ratings of how important it is for food to be produced as organic, not processed, locally grown and not GM were categorized to represent whether they valued (very/somewhat important) or did not value (a little/not at all important) each practice. Diet quality markers (e.g. fruit servings) were based on an FFQ.

Setting:

Mailed and online surveys.

Participants:

Young adults (n 1620; 58 % female, mean age 31 (sd 1·6) years) who were participating in Project EAT (Eating and Activity among Teens and Young Adults) and responded to follow-up surveys in 2003–2004 and 2015–2016.

Results:

One-third (36·1 %) of participants reported valuing <2 practices at both assessments; 11·1 and 34·5 % respectively reported valuing ≥2 practices in 2003–2004 only and in 2015–2016 only; 18·3 % reported valuing ≥2 practices at both assessments. Regression models including demographics, parental status and vegetarian status showed that valuing ≥2 practices was associated with preparation of meals with vegetables at least a few times/week, less frequent purchase of family meals from fast-food restaurants, and higher diet quality in 2015–2016. For example, those who valued ≥2 practices consumed nearly one full vegetable serving more than other young adults on an average day and part of this difference was specifically associated with intake of dark green and red/orange vegetables.

Conclusions:

Addressing the sustainability of food choices as part of public health messaging may be relevant for many young adults.

Copyright

Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Email larsonn@umn.edu

References

Hide All
1. Auestad, N & Fulgoni, V (2015) What current literature tells us about sustainable diets: emerging research linking dietary patterns, environmental sustainability, and economics. Adv Nutr 6, 1936.
2. Rose, D, Heller, M & Roberto, C (2019) Position of the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior: the importance of including environmental sustainability in dietary guidance. J Nutr Educ Behav 51, 315.
3. von Koerber, K, Bader, N & Leitzmann, C (2017) Wholesome nutrition: an example of a sustainable diet. Proc Nutr Soc 76, 3441.
4. Burlingame, B & Dernini, S (2012) Sustainable diets and biodiversity: directions and solutions for policy, research and action. http://www.fao.org/policy-support/resources/resources-details/en/c/522860/ (accessed January 2019).
5. Robinson-O’Brien, R, Larson, N, Neumark-Sztainer, D et al. (2009) Characteristics and dietary patterns of adolescents who value eating locally grown, organic, nongenetically engineered, and non-processed food. J Nutr Educ Behav 41, 1118.
6. Organic Trade Association (2017) Organic industry survey. https://www.ota.com/resources/organic-industry-survey (accessed June 2018).
7. Pelletier, J, Laska, M, Neumark-Sztainer, D et al. (2013) Positive attitudes toward organic, local, and sustainable foods are associated with higher dietary quality among young adults. J Acad Nutr Diet 113, 127132.
8. VanKim, NA, Larson, N & Laska, MN (2012) Emerging adulthood: a critical age for preventing excess weight gain? Adolesc Med State Art Rev 23, 571588.
9. 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (2015) Scientific report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015-scientific-report/ (accessed January 2019).
10. Hu, T, Jacobs, D, Larson, N et al. (2016) Higher diet quality in adolescence and dietary improvements are related to less weight gain during the transition from adolescence to adulthood. J Pediatr 178, 188193.
11. Buijsse, B, Jacobs, D, Steffen, L et al. (2015) Plasma ascorbic acid, a priori diet quality score, and incident hypertension: a prospective cohort study. PLoS One 10, e01449920.
12. Steffen, L, Van Horn, L, Daviglus, M et al. (2014) A modified Mediterranean diet score is associated with a lower risk of incident metabolic syndrome over 25 years among young adults: the CARDIA (Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults) study. Br J Nutr 112, 16541661.
13. Gresham, E, Collins, C, Mishra, G et al. (2016) Diet quality before or during pregnancy and the relationship with pregnancy and birth outcomes: the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health. Public Health Nutr 19, 29752983.
14. Wrobleski, M, Parker, E, Hurley, K et al. (2018) Comparison of the HEI and HEI-2010 diet quality measures in association with chronic disease risk among low-income, African American urban youth in Baltimore, Maryland. J Am Coll Nutr 37, 201208.
15. Lutz, L, Gaffney-Stomberg, E, Williams, K et al. (2017) Adherence to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans is associated with psychological resilience in young adults: a cross-sectional study. J Acad Nutr Diet 117, 396403.
16. Xiao, R, Simas, T, Person, S et al. (2015) Diet quality and history of gestational diabetes mellitus among childbearing women, United States, 2007–2010. Prev Chronic Dis 12, E25.
17. Krebs-Smith, S, Guenther, P, Subar, A et al. (2010) Americans do not meet federal dietary recommendations. J Nutr 140, 18321838.
18. Larson, N, Fulkerson, J, Story, M et al. (2013) Shared meals among young adults are associated with better diet quality and predicted by family meal patterns during adolescence. Public Health Nutr 16, 883893.
19. Lipsky, L, Nansel, T, Haynie, D et al. (2017) Diet quality of US adolescents during the transition to adulthood: changes and predictors. Am J Clin Nutr 105, 14241434.
20. Jackson, S, King, S, Zhao, L et al. (2016) Prevalence of excess sodium intake in the United States – NHANES, 2009–2012. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 64, 13931397.
21. Bailey, R, Fulgoni, V, Cowan, A et al. (2018) Sources of added sugars in young children, adolescents, and adults with low and high intakes of added sugars. Nutrients 10, E102.
22. Neumark-Sztainer, D, Story, M, Hannan, P et al. (2002) Overweight status and eating patterns among adolescents: where do youth stand in comparison to the Healthy People 2010 Objectives? Am J Public Health 92, 844851.
23. Neumark-Sztainer, D, Croll, J, Story, M et al. (2002) Ethnic/racial differences in weight-related concerns and behaviors among adolescent girls and boys: findings from Project EAT. J Psychosom Res 53, 963974.
24. Neumark-Sztainer, D, Wall, M, Eisenberg, ME et al. (2006) Overweight status and weight control behaviors in adolescents: longitudinal and secular trends from 1999 to 2004. Prev Med 43, 5259.
25. Larson, N, Neumark-Sztainer, D, Hannan, P et al. (2007) Trends in fruit and vegetable consumption, 1999–2004: Project EAT. Am J Prev Med 32, 147150.
26. Neumark-Sztainer, D, Larson, N, Fulkerson, J et al. (2010) Family meals and adolescents: what have we learned from Project EAT (Eating Among Teens)? Public Health Nutr 13, 11131121.
27. Larson, N, Neumark-Sztainer, D, Harnack, L et al. (2008) Fruit and vegetable intake correlates during the transition to young adulthood. Am J Prev Med 35, 3337.
28. Neumark-Sztainer, D, Wall, M, Guo, J et al. (2006) Obesity, disordered eating, and eating disorders in a longitudinal study of adolescents: how do dieters fare 5 years later? J Am Diet Assoc 106, 559568.
29. Neumark-Sztainer, D, Wall, M, Haines, J et al. (2007) Why does dieting predict weight gain in adolescents? Findings from Project EAT-II: a 5-year longitudinal study. J Am Diet Assoc 107, 448455.
30. Christoph, M, Larson, N, Laska, M et al. (2018) Nutrition facts panels: who uses them, what do they use, and how does use relate to dietary intake? J Acad Nutr Diet 118, 217228.
31. Larson, N, Haynos, A, Roberto, C et al. (2018) Calorie labels on the restaurant menu: Is the use of weight-control behaviors related to ordering decisions? J Acad Nutr Diet 118, 399409.
32. Neumark-Sztainer, D, Wall, M, Chen, C et al. (2018) Eating, activity, and weight-related problems from adolescence to adulthood. Am J Prev Med 55, 133141.
33. Larson, N, Chen, Y, Wall, M et al. (2018) Personal, behavioral, and environmental predictors of healthy weight maintenance during the transition to adulthood. Prev Med 113, 8090.
34. Larson, N, Nelson, M, Neumark-Sztainer, D et al. (2009) Making time for meals: meal structure and associations with dietary intake in young adults. J Am Diet Assoc 109, 7279.
35. Laska, M, Larson, N, Neumark-Sztainer, D et al. (2012) Does involvement in food preparation track from adolescence to young adulthood and is it associated with better dietary quality? Findings from a 10-year longitudinal study. Public Health Nutr 15, 11501158.
36. Boutelle, K, Fulkerson, J, Neumark-Sztainer, D et al. (2007) Fast food for family meals: relationships with parent and adolescent food intake, home food environment and weight status. Public Health Nutr 10, 1623.
37. Rimm, E, Giovannucci, E, Stampfer, M et al. (1992) Reproducibility and validity of an expanded self-administered semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire among male health professionals. Am J Epidemiol 135, 11141126.
38. US Department of Agriculture & US Department of Health and Human Services (2016) Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015–2020, eighth edition. http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/ (accessed January 2019).
39. Feskanich, D, Rimm, E, Giovannucci, E et al. (1993) Reproducibility and validity of food intake measurements from a semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire. J Am Diet Assoc 93, 790796.
40. Yuan, C, Spiegelman, D, Rimm, E et al. (2017) Validity of a dietary questionnaire assessed by comparison with multiple weighed dietary records or 24-hour recalls. Am J Epidemiol 185, 570584.
41. Berge, J, Larson, N, Bauer, K et al. (2011) Are parents of young children practicing healthy nutrition and physical activity behaviors? Pediatrics 127, 881887.
42. Organic Trade Association (2017) Today’s millennial: tomorrow’s organic parent. https://ota.com/news/press-releases/19828 (accessed June 2018).
43. Little, R (1986) Survey nonresponse adjustments for estimates of means. Int Stat Rev 54, 139157.
44. Kirkpatrick, S, Dodd, K, Reedy, J et al. (2012) Income and race/ethnicity are associated with adherence to food-based dietary guidance among US adults and children. J Acad Nutr Diet 112, 624635.
45. Curl, C, Beresford, S, Hajat, A et al. (2013) Associations of organic produce consumption with socioeconomic status and the local food environment: Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). PLoS One 8, e69778.
46. Bellows, A, Alcaraz, V & Hallman, W (2010) Gender and food, a study of attitudes in the USA towards organic, local, US grown, and GM-free foods. Appetite 55, 540550.
47. Forman, J, Silverstein, J, Committee on Nutrition et al. (2012) Organic foods: health and environmental advantages and disadvantages. Pediatrics 130, e1406e1415.
48. Nelson, M, Hamm, M, Hu, F et al. (2016) Alignment of healthy dietary patterns and environmental sustainability: a systematic review. Adv Nutr 7, 10051025.
49. Nguyen, B & Powell, L (2014) The impact of restaurant consumption among US adults: effects on energy and nutrient intakes. Public Health Nutr 17, 24452452.
50. Larson, N, Neumark-Sztainer, D, Story, M et al. (2011) Identifying correlates of young adults’ weight behavior: survey development. Am J Health Behav 35, 712725.
51. US Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service (2019) WIC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP). https://www.fns.usda.gov/fmnp/wic-farmers-market-nutrition-program-fmnp (accessed January 2019).
52. Freedman, D, Vaudrin, N, Schneider, C et al. (2016) Systematic review of factors influencing farmers’ market use overall and among low-income populations. J Acad Nutr Diet 116, 11361155.
53. US Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service (2019) SNAP and farmers markets. https://snaped.fns.usda.gov/nutrition-education/nutrition-education-materials/farmers-markets (accessed January 2019).

Keywords

Type Description Title
WORD
Supplementary materials

Larson et al. supplementary material
Table S1

 Word (14 KB)
14 KB

Do young adults value sustainable diet practices? Continuity in values from adolescence to adulthood and linkages to dietary behaviour

  • Nicole Larson (a1), Melissa N Laska (a1) and Dianne Neumark-Sztainer (a1)

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed