Over the past 50 years, major population-level demographic shifts, including increases in postsecondary education and delays in marriage and childbearing, have occurred. These shifts gave rise to a unique phase of the modern life course, known as “emerging adulthood,” typically defined as those aged between 18 and 25. This age is marked by important transitions such as leaving home and increased autonomy in decision making; however, at the same time, adult responsibilities such as financial independence and residential and/or employment stability have often not yet been realized. This period of emerging adulthood may be an important age for establishing long-term health behavior patterns, such as eating habits.

This transition from adolescence to adulthood has become recognized as a critical age for the development of obesity. ...

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