248438 Understanding eating episodes: Predominant activities reported by US adults when eating or drinking in the American Time Use Survey

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 3:24 PM

April Oh, PhD, MPH , Health Promotion Research Branch, National Cancer Institute, Rockville, MD
Temitope Erinosho, PhD , Health Promotion Research Branch, National Cancer Institute, Rockville, MD
Genevieve Fridlund Dunton, PhD, MPH , Preventive Medicine, University of Southern California, Alhambra, CA
Linda Nebeling, PhD , Health Promotion Research Branch, Behavioral Research Program, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute, Rockville, MD
Research examining dimensions of eating episodes such as what people are doing when eating can contribute to understanding food choices and norms. The purpose of this study was to identify primary activities US adults are performing when reporting eating/drinking as secondary activities, throughout a 24-hour day. Data from the nationally representative 2006-2008 American Time Use Survey (ATUS) Eating and Health Module were used to tabulate activities reported. Respondents report daily activities from 4 AM -3:59 AM the previous day. Episodes of eating or drinking were defined as reported eating or drinking occurring ≥1 minute in duration secondary to another primary activity. Analyses include N = 21,740 secondary eating episodes and 29,669 drinking episodes reported by 21,305 adults. The ATUS codes activities reported into 17 major categories, to which 261 specific activities contribute. Secondary eating occurred predominately in the following major categories: socializing (40.8%), work-related activities (18.4%) and household activities (14.9%). The four most common specific activities reported were: watching television (22.1%), conducting work-related activities (17.3%), socializing and communicating with others (5.4%), and food and drink preparation (4.5%). Results presented will highlight key population subgroup (gender, SES, age, BMI) differences in reported activities when eating or drinking. Time use data like the ATUS offer a unique means for understanding dimensions of eating episodes such as context and what people are doing when eating, outside of intake. These findings can inform future dietary change interventions which may want to consider particular activities that could trigger eating and drinking episodes throughout the day.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1) Identify the major activities adults report conducting when eating or drinking when performing other primary activities. 2) Discuss dimensions of eating episodes and identify how understanding of activities reported when eating may inform dietary interventions. 3) Identify key population subgroups and differences by gender, SES, age, and BMI in reporting eating or drinking while watching television, conducting work-related activities, socializing and communicating with others, and food and drink preparation.

Keywords: Food and Nutrition, Health Behavior

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Behavioral scientist with research focus in obesogenic behaviors (diet, episodes of eating and activity), contextual influences on health behaviors and social determinants of health.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.