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Food Away From Home: How much does it really influence diet quality?

  • Mancino, Lisa
  • Todd, Jessica E.
  • Lin, Biing-Hwan

This study confirms that eating food away from home (FAFH) adversely affects dietary intake. By looking at changes within individuals’ dietary intake over two days, thus controlling for self-selection issues, we find that FAFH causes increased caloric intake and reduced diet quality. Our estimates on the effect of specific meals show that lunch and dinner consumed away from home have the largest effect on total daily caloric intake, but that breakfast has the largest negative effect on total diet quality. In particular, eating breakfast away from home decreases intake of fruit, whole grains and dairy and increases the percent of calories from saturated fats and solid fats, alcohol and added sugar. Eating lunch and dinner away from home also reduce diet quality, affecting similar dietary components, with dinner away from home also reducing vegetable intake. Unlike past studies based on correlation analyses, this study shows how FAFH can have a causal impact on weight gain.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/49251
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Paper provided by Agricultural and Applied Economics Association in its series 2009 Annual Meeting, July 26-28, 2009, Milwaukee, Wisconsin with number 49251.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea09:49251
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  1. David Cutler & Edward Glaeser & Jesse Shapiro, 2003. "Why Have Americans Become More Obese?," NBER Working Papers 9446, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Todd, Jessica E. & Variyam, Jayachandran N., 2008. "The Decline in Consumer Use of Food Nutrition Labels, 1995-2006," Economic Research Report 56466, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  3. Shin-Yi Chou & Michael Grossman & Henry Saffer, 2002. "An Economic Analysis of Adult Obesity: Results from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System," NBER Working Papers 9247, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Anderson, Michael L. & Matsa, David A., 2008. "Are restuarants really supersizing America?," CUDARE Working Paper Series 1056R4, University of California at Berkeley, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Policy, revised Jul 2010.
  5. Mancino, Lisa & Kuchler, Fred & Leibtag, Ephraim, 2008. "Getting consumers to eat more whole-grains: The role of policy, information, and food manufacturers," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 489-496, December.
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