Nearly 10 percent of Americans reported eating 8 or more meals away from home per week in 2009-10
The Flexible Consumer Behavior Survey is a subset of questions in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) that collects information on the food habits, attitudes, and dietary behaviors of U.S. consumers. Some questions ask about food prepared away from home, which is of interest to nutritionists and public health professionals partly because the choices many of us make when eating out are often less healthy than our food choices at home. When asked, “During the past 7 days, how many meals did you get that were prepared away from home in places such as restaurants, fast food places, food stands, grocery stores, or from vending machines?” 9.5 percent of respondents reported 8 or more meals, down from 12.5 percent of respondents in 2007-08. The most common response was 0 meals away from home (19.3 percent of respondents). This chart appears on ERS’s recently updated webpage about the Flexible Consumer Behavior Survey.
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