What Influences Independent, Young Adults' Food Choices?

By Jayne Nicole Ballingall and Maria-Irini Avgoulas.

Published by The International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published Online: May 20, 2016 $US5.00

The transition from high school education to tertiary education is a significant stage in a young person’s life. As this experience is often combined with moving out of the family home, young adults are required to learn to work independently, prepare meals for themselves, and take care of their home environment—all whilst trying to support themselves financially. For many young adults, this period is a steep learning curve in a number of elements of their life. During this transition time young adults are frequently portrayed as having a low income and are often thought to be at risk of food insecurity. University students have also been shown to have a diet lacking in essential food groups, however there has been little research into why university students are lacking in food groups, in particular why this is so in Australian students. There are many other possible influences of young adult’s food choice such as family background, their current living conditions, or social environment. This research seeks to expand the understanding of influences upon food choices, specifically looking at young adults in this major transition stage. It aims to look deeper into their circumstances, looking past the typical stereotype of the “poor student” to explore lifelong influences such as family background, education and skills, and also new, immediate influences such as their living conditions and social environment. This research will add to the limited knowledge base on young adult’s food influences with the potential to guide health promotion and assistance programs to a more tailored approach to this population group’s needs.

Keywords: Food Choices, Young Adults, Health Promotion

The International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society, Volume 6, Issue 2, June 2016, pp.73-82. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online: May 20, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 718.283KB)).

Jayne Nicole Ballingall

Research Project Assistant, Population Health, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Dr. Maria-Irini Avgoulas

Associate Lecturer, School of Psychology and Public Health, College of Science, Health, and Engineering, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia