Measuring Eating in Everyday Life (MEALS) Study

Meal patterns appear to be important, as they may influence health. However, we know little about how people consume meals during the day or how foods are consumed together. This project uses a smartphone app to understand young adults' meal patterns and their determinants.


About the study

This study asks young adults (aged 18–30 years) to complete an online survey and keep a food diary over four days, using a smartphone app. The online survey will measure a range of potential influences on young adults’ meal patterns including intra-personal, social and environmental factors.

The smartphone food diary app requires participants to answer a series of questions for all food/drink consumed over the four days of the study. These questions focus on the type of food/drink, the social situation during the eating/drinking occasion, the preparation involved and the location of the eating/drinking occasion.

This project is carried out according to the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007) produced by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia with funding provided by an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery grant.


This study will provide important insights into how young people eat and will help us develop messages, strategies and interventions to promote healthy eating in this age group.

Associate Professor Sarah McNaughton

Lead investigator


The research team

The MEALS study is led by Associate Professor Sarah McNaughton and Professor Tony Worsley, and conducted by a research team at Deakin’s Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition.

Contact us

Measuring Eating in Everyday Life (MEALS) Study
Email the MEALS research team