Environmental influences on eating in students


Vinck, J., & Meganck, J.

Limburgs Universitair Centrum



Nutrition is an important determinant of health and body weight. Whereas traditionally social-cognitive variables have been considered as determining food intake, the importance of environmental variables like availability of more or less “rich” food, variety of available food-items etc has recently been underlined, but few studies tried to verify this hypothesis empirically. In order to examine the role of environmental variables, a group of 83 medical students registered what they ate and drank during 4 days (2 week days and 2 weekend days); at the same time they registered where these meals were taken, who prepared the meals and whether they were alone or not. Results show, among other things, that students take a considerable proportion of meals in other locations than at home or in their student’s residence and that outdoor meals differ significantly from meals taken at other locations. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that environmental variables do play a role in determining what people eat. 






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