People 15 and older in the United States spent an average of 85 minutes per day eating and drinking in 2022

Vertical bar chart showing time spent eating and drinking on an average day between 2006 and 2022.

On an average day in 2022, individuals 15 and older spent 68.5 minutes engaged in eating and drinking as a “primary,” or main, activity. USDA, Economic Research Service (ERS) sponsors and maintains data on time spent eating and drinking for the Eating and Health Module, a supplement to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ American Time Use Survey (ATUS). Information about the time and location U.S. residents spend eating and drinking can offer valuable insights into how nutrition and health outcomes vary over time and can inform the design of food assistance and nutrition policies and programs. ERS researchers found that respondents devoted an extra 16.4 minutes to eating as a secondary activity, which means eating while doing something else, such as watching television, working, socializing, playing games, or preparing meals. In 2022, the top two places for primary eating and drinking and secondary eating were “own home or yard” and “workplace.” Overall, individuals in the United States aged 15 and older allocated 85 minutes to both primary eating and drinking and secondary eating on an average day in 2022. This is a modest increase of about 4 minutes compared with the survey data from 2016. This data and chart come from the ERS Eating and Health Module (ATUS) data product, which is part of the nationally representative ATUS.

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