Eating on the run leads to unhealthy eating habits

January 16, 2009 in Healthy Eating, Nutrition Topics in the News

Eating on the run leads to unhealthy eating habits
Many young people say they lack the time to sit down to a meal, and that may be pushing them to make less-than healthy food choices, a new study suggests.

In a survey of nearly 1,700 college-age adults, researchers found that 35 percent of men and 42 percent of women said they lacked time for sit-down meals.

Those time constraints also seemed to push them toward more junk food and less healthy fare, according to findings published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

Men and women who said they typically sat down to dinner with other people tended to have better overall diets, including a higher intake of fruits and vegetables. In contrast, those who tended to "eat on the run" often opted for fast food and had higher intakes of saturated fat and soft drinks.

These findings suggest it's important to make time for having meals and, whenever possible, to share mealtimes with friends or family members. Even though real meals can be hard to fit into a busy day, people should schedule time for them like they would for any other important activity.

When there is no other option than eating on the run, reach for healthy fare instead of junk food. Fresh or dried fruits, pre-washed bagged vegetables, whole grain crackers and "string" cheese are some convenient, healthier choices.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.