Food away from home and self-rated diet quality

A bar chart showing the rating and frequency of away from home meals.

ERS research shows that away-from-home meals and snacks tend to contain more calories and to be of lower nutritional quality than food prepared at home. Consumers appear to recognize that frequent eating away from home can lower diet quality. In an ERS analysis of the 2005-06 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data, only 21 percent of respondents who ate more than seven away-from-home meals per week rated their overall diet quality as excellent or very good, compared with 43 percent who ate out less than once per week. This chart originally appeared in the June 2010 issue of Amber Waves magazine.

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