Western Kentucky University

Media Relations

New Media and Eating Habits: Computer Has Replaced the Kitchen Table as Focal Point of Meals for College Students

"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.

Source: Science Daily

Categories
All News  Now Viewing Category: All
School of Journalism & Broadcasting
CEBS
Media Relations
Academic Affairs
Augenstein Alumni Center
Instruments of American Excellence
Transportation
Emergency Preparedness
Police
Department of Music
Department of Theatre & Dance
Library News
Office of Sustainability
Office of International Programs
Office of Research
Ogden News
PCAL
WKU Greeks News
WKU Parent and Family Weekend
Parent's Association
Student Activities and Organizations
Scholarships Student Financial Assistance
Student Government Association News
Van Meter Auditorium
Teaching News
Study Abroad
Student Research Council
Student Employment
WKU Joint Admissions
International Student Office
Human Resources News
Cultural Enhancement Series
CHHS News
The Confucius Institute
Campus Activities Board
GFCB
WellU
The Carol Martin Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky
Development and Alumni Relations
Downing Student Union
Health Services
Hardin Planetarium
News from The Center for Gifted Studies
Student Financial Assistance
Downing Museum
Etown & Fort Knox
Facilities
Employee Wellness
Latest Headlines
WKU Student develops The Ebola Project app to track virus

A WKU graduate student has developed a smartphone app that uses Twitter data to track the outbreak of the Ebola virus and could predict the spread of the virus.

Public Health Faculty Member Meets with the President of Tanzania
Poster by CHHS Faculty & Staff Members Designated as Meritorious Poster Submission
Featured Articles
 Last Modified 7/23/13