Time spent in home meal preparation affects energy and food group intakes among midlife women

Yen Li Chu, O. Yaw Addo, Courtney D. Perry, Noriko Sudo, Marla Reicks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Time spent in meal preparation may be indicative of the healthfulness of meals and therefore with weight status. The purpose of this study was to examine the association between amount of time spent preparing meals and meal food group and nutrient content by meal occasion (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) among 1036 midlife women. Participants completed a 1-day food record and eating occasion questionnaires for each meal occasion. ANCOVA was used to identify possible associations. Approximately half of the participants reported spending <5. min preparing breakfast and lunch, and <20. min preparing dinner. Less time spent preparing breakfast was associated with lower energy and fat intakes (p< 0.0001), while less time spent preparing lunch and dinner was associated with lower vegetable and sodium intakes (p< 0.0001). There were no apparent differences in the association between time spent preparing meals and meal content by weight status. Nutrition education should encourage home meal preparation while stressing the selection of healthier options. The differing associations by meal occasion suggest that interventions should be tailored according to meal type.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)438-443
Number of pages6
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2012


  • Food intake
  • Meal preparation
  • Midlife women


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