Author Information

Rachael Alpert


Emerging adults in college are in a time of adjustment, and as a result of this, their diets can suffer. In previous studies, meal preparation has proven to result in a healthier and more nutritious diet. With the understanding that an increase in meal preparation leads to the improvement of diet and nutrition, my study looks at what factors constrain meal preparation in emerging adults. The constraints emerging adults have with meal preparation and maintaining a healthy diet can include the frequency of meal preparation, confidence in cooking, time constraints for meal preparation, financial worry for grocery shopping, and a good understanding of healthy foods. My classmates and I surveyed 157 college students between the ages of 18 and 29 on many aspects of their lives, including their perceived limitations in meal preparation. The results of my study demonstrated that a good understanding of healthy foods and confidence in the ability to cook a healthy and well-balanced meal was associated with an increase in meal preparation. These results of experience and knowledge help to form the foundation for successful meal preparation, and it can help cultivate healthier diets for emerging adults in the future.

Note on the Author

Rachael Alpert is a graduating senior majoring in Psychology and minoring in African American Studies. Her research project was completed in the winter of 2020 under the mentorship of Dr. Joseph Schwab (Psychology). She presented a visualized poster version of her study at the BSU Mid-Year Symposium. Rachael plans to pursue her master’s in Clinical Psychology.

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