Understanding Meal Choices in Young Adults and Interactions with Demographics, Diet Quality, and Health Behaviors: A Discrete Choice Experiment

Livingstone, Katherine, Abbott, Gavin, Lamb, Karen, Dullaghan, Kathleen, Worsley, Francis and McNaughton, Sarah 2021, Understanding Meal Choices in Young Adults and Interactions with Demographics, Diet Quality, and Health Behaviors: A Discrete Choice Experiment, Journal of Nutrition, vol. 151, no. 8, pp. 2361-2371, doi: 10.1093/jn/nxab106.

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Title Understanding Meal Choices in Young Adults and Interactions with Demographics, Diet Quality, and Health Behaviors: A Discrete Choice Experiment
Author(s) Livingstone, KatherineORCID iD for Livingstone, Katherine orcid.org/0000-0002-9682-7541
Abbott, GavinORCID iD for Abbott, Gavin orcid.org/0000-0003-4014-0705
Lamb, KarenORCID iD for Lamb, Karen orcid.org/0000-0001-9782-8450
Dullaghan, KathleenORCID iD for Dullaghan, Kathleen orcid.org/0000-0003-1537-0605
Worsley, FrancisORCID iD for Worsley, Francis orcid.org/0000-0002-4635-6059
McNaughton, SarahORCID iD for McNaughton, Sarah orcid.org/0000-0001-5936-9820
Journal name Journal of Nutrition
Volume number 151
Issue number 8
Start page 2361
End page 2371
Total pages 11
Publisher Oxford University Press
Place of publication Oxford, Eng.
Publication date 2021-08
ISSN 0022-3166
1541-6100
Keyword(s) diet quality
discrete choice experiment
eating behaviors
eating patterns
food choice
meal preference
young adults
Summary ABSTRACT Background Our understanding of meal choices is limited by methodologies that do not account for the complexity of food choice behaviors. Discrete choice experiments (DCEs) rank choices in a decision-making context. Objectives This study aimed to rank the relative importance of influences on meal choices in young adults and examine interactions by subgroups. Methods Adults (18–30 y) living in Australia were recruited via social media to complete an Internet-based DCE and survey. Participants were presented with 12 choice sets about a typical weekday meal, consisting of 5 attributes (taste, preparation time, nutrition content, cost, and quality). Diet quality (Dietary Guideline Index) was calculated from brief dietary questions. Conditional logit models ranked meal attributes, including interactions by sex, education, area-level disadvantage, diet quality, and weight status. Results In total, 577 adults (46% female, mean ± SD age 23.8 ± 3.8 y) completed the DCE and survey. Nutrition content was the most important influence on meal choice (B: 1.48; 95% CI: 1.31, 1.64), followed by cost (B: –0.75; 95% CI: –0.87, –0.63), quality (B: 0.58; 95% CI: 0.49, 0.67), taste (B: 0.55; 95% CI: 0.45, 0.65), and preparation time (B: –0.42; 95% CI: –0.52, –0.31). Females, those with higher diet quality, and those with a BMI (in kg/m2) <25 had higher preferences for better nutrition content. Females had higher preferences for better taste and lower preferences for higher-cost meals. Participants with higher education had higher preferences for better nutrition content. Participants living in higher area-level disadvantage areas had higher preferences for longer preparation time. Conclusions Nutrition content was the most important influence on young adults’ meal choices. Preferences differed by sex, socioeconomic position, diet quality, and weight status. Findings show the suitability of DCEs for understanding food choice behaviors in young adults and support the need for meal-based interventions to be tailored according to demographic and health characteristics.
Language eng
DOI 10.1093/jn/nxab106
Field of Research 0702 Animal Production
0908 Food Sciences
1111 Nutrition and Dietetics
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30151792

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences
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