Relationship between needs driving eating occasions and eating behavior in midlife women

Noriko Sudo, Dennis Degeneffe, Houa Vue, Koel Ghosh, Marla Reicks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to determine the relationship between type of eating occasion based on need state segments experienced by 200 midlife women (46 ± 6 years) and food group, nutrient, and energy intake. Women completed an Eating Occasion Questionnaire for 3 eating occasions over a 3-day period for which they maintained diet records. Cluster analysis segmented 559 eating occasions into six need states. Energy, total fat, and cholesterol consumption per occasion were highest in "routine family meal" occasions of which more than 60% were dinner and eaten at home with their children. The percentage of eating occasions in which fruits/vegetables were eaten was also highest in "routine family meal," followed by "healthy regimen." More than half of "indulgent escape" eating occasions occurred away from home and about one-third were experienced as a snack. Saturated fat and sweets intakes were the highest in the "indulgent escapes" occasions. Eating occasions experienced by women according to needs surrounding the occasion should be considered when developing tailored interventions to improve intake.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-146
Number of pages10
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was supported by R21-DK067296-02, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, and in part by M01-RR00400 National Center for Research Resources, National Institutes of Health.


  • Eating occasions
  • Energy and fat intake
  • Food group
  • Midlife women
  • Need state
  • Segmentation
  • Situational context


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