Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New media and eating habits: Computer has replaced the kitchen table as focal point of meals for college students

Date:
March 30, 2011
Source:
Rochester Institute of Technology
Summary:
A new study has analyzed how new-media technology, including the Internet and smartphones, are changing college students' eating habits and their relationship to food. Findings indicate that individuals are more likely to have meals while sitting at the computer than at the kitchen table, and that they use social media as the main avenue to obtain recipe and nutritional information.

A new study by Rochester Institute of Technology is one of the first to analyze how new-media technology, including the Internet and smartphones, are changing college students' eating habits and their relationship to food. Findings indicate that individuals are more likely to have meals while sitting at the computer than at the kitchen table, and that they use social media as the main avenue to obtain recipe and nutritional information.

"I sought to investigate how the explosion of new media is changing traditional notions of meals and how this is transforming human interaction," notes Madeline Varno, a senior communications major at RIT and principle author of the study. "As opposed to their parents or grandparents, college students do not see meals as a central activity in and of itself, either for enjoyment or communication. In fact none of the respondents I interviewed even had a kitchen table."

Varno conducted an extensive survey of college students at RIT, which assessed how meals were prepared and eaten, how students interacted with others during meals and how they obtained information about nutrition, potential food choices and recipes. It also assessed the importance of meals in students' social lives.

"Eating is now just one of several activities being multitasked at once, all of which generally involve computers and smartphones, including surfing the Web, communicating with friends via Facebook and doing homework," she continues. "This does not mean that students are any less social; in fact, they are often interacting with more people than if they were sitting in a dining room, but the method of that socialization is now directly connected to new media."

Varno also found that people were more likely to ask friends on Facebook or Twitter about recipes than consult a cookbook and often used social media to assess the relevance and validity of food and nutrition information.

"While some respondents expressed concern at the sheer volume of food information available online, they also indicated that the use of Facebook and Twitter to quickly validate data made them feel more informed about making the right choices," Varno adds.

Varno hopes her results will lead to additional studies with larger sample sizes that could further assess how new media is changing eating habits among the broader population.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Rochester Institute of Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Rochester Institute of Technology. "New media and eating habits: Computer has replaced the kitchen table as focal point of meals for college students." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 March 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110329151458.htm>.
Rochester Institute of Technology. (2011, March 30). New media and eating habits: Computer has replaced the kitchen table as focal point of meals for college students. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110329151458.htm
Rochester Institute of Technology. "New media and eating habits: Computer has replaced the kitchen table as focal point of meals for college students." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110329151458.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A research institute in Paris somehow misplaced more than 2,000 vials of the deadly SARS virus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins