Publications

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  • Compare Your Area's Food Environment With the Rest of the Country

    Amber Waves, December 01, 2010

    With over 90 food environment indicators, the ERS Food Environment Atlas provides a spatial overview of a community’s ability to access healthy food and its success in doing so.

  • Research Areas

    Amber Waves, December 01, 2010

    Selected statistics on agriculture and trade, diet and health, natural resources, and rural America

  • Canned Fruit and Vegetable Consumption in the United States: An Updated Report to Congress

    AP-050, November 10, 2010

    The Senate Report 111-039 accompanying S. 1406, the 2010 Agriculture Appropriations Bill, requested that the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Economic Research Service (ERS) prepare and publish a report regarding consumer perceptions of canned fruits and vegetables. In the absence of consumer surveys, the report relies on consumption and spending estimates to reveal attitudes of the U.S. population toward canned produce. This report updates Canned Fruit and Vegetable Consumption in the United States: Report to Congress (October 2008), using more recent data through 2008, where available.

  • How Food Away From Home Affects Children's Diet Quality

    ERR-104, October 04, 2010

    Compared with meals and snacks prepared at home, food prepared away from home increases caloric intake of children, especially older children. Among older children, food away from home also lowers their daily diet quality.

  • Taxing Caloric Sweetened Beverages To Curb Obesity

    Amber Waves, September 01, 2010

    Increased taxes on sweetened beverages could reduce calorie intake even after accounting for increased consumption of alternative beverages.

  • Economic Long-Term Impacts of Interventions Aimed at Preventing or Reducing Obesity Among Children

    CCR-62, September 01, 2010

    The obesity epidemic in the United States calls for action on a national level, yet the potential economic effects of such interventions are unclear. Researchers identified six randomized, controlled trials of community-based interventions to address childhood obesity at different ages that demonstrated a significant change in the prevalence of obesity in the target population.

  • Price-Reducing Coupons Have a Dual Effect on Fruit and Vegetable Purchases

    Amber Waves, September 01, 2010

    Coupon effectiveness depends on the amount of the discount and the percent of households that redeem the coupons.

  • Research Areas

    Amber Waves, September 01, 2010

    Research area charts from the September 2012 issue of Amber Waves

  • Taxing Caloric Sweetened Beverages: Potential Effects on Beverage Consumption, Calorie Intake, and Obesity

    ERR-100, July 02, 2010

    ERS analyzes the effects of a hypothetical tax on caloric sweetened sodas, fruit drinks, sports and energy drinks, and powdered mixes. What choices would consumers make, and what would it mean for their calorie intake?

  • Promoting Fruit and Vegetable Consumption: Are Coupons More Effective than Pure Price Discounts?

    ERR-96, June 03, 2010

    ERS compares the potential effectiveness of coupons versus price discounts in encouraging fruit and vegetable consumption among participants in Federal food and nutrition assistance programs.

  • Tracking Changes in Dietary Awareness and Food Choices

    Amber Waves, June 01, 2010

    A number of constituencies—government nutrition and health agencies, food manufacturers, public health advocates, and food marketing firms—depend on reliable data to track changes in the food habits, behavior, and choices of U.S. consumers. ERS has partnered with the National Center for Health Statistics to gather such data.

  • Eating Out Increases Daily Calorie Intake

    Amber Waves, June 01, 2010

    Among all meals eaten outside the home, lunch has the largest impact on the average adult, adding 158 calories to daily intake, compared with lunch prepared at home. Eating dinner out increases intake by 144 calories. Each away-from-home snack adds just over 100 calories to daily intake. Breakfast away from home adds 74 calories.

  • Eating and Health Module User's Guide

    AP-047, April 05, 2010

    The Eating & Health (EH) Module of the American Time Use Survey (ATUS) collects additional data to analyze relationships among time use patterns and eating patterns, nutrition, and obesity; food and nutrition assistance programs; and grocery shopping and meal preparation. This User's Guide provides detailed guidance to researchers on how to use the EH Module to measure time use and eating patterns.

  • Americans Are More Realistic About the Quality of Their Diets

    Amber Waves, March 01, 2010

    Presumably, Americans are more realistic today about their diet quality because they have greater knowledge of what constitutes a healthy diet. In 2005-06, 79 percent of U.S. adults had heard of the Food Guide Pyramid, up from 33 percent in 1994, and 51 percent knew about the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, up from 30 percent in 1994.

  • Access to Affordable, Nutritious Food Is Limited in “Food Deserts”

    Amber Waves, March 01, 2010

    A small percentage of U.S. households live in “food deserts,” where access to a supermarket or large grocery store is a problem. Low-income residents of these neighborhoods and those who lack transportation tend to rely more on smaller neighborhood stores that may not carry healthy foods or offer them only at higher prices, which increases the risks of poor diets or food insecurity.

  • The Impact of Food Away From Home on Adult Diet Quality

    ERR-90, February 16, 2010

    Consumption data show that for the average adult, meals away from home have an impact on daily caloric intake and diet quality.

  • Diet Quality of School-Age Children in the U.S. and Association With Participation in the School Meal Programs

    CCR-59, February 01, 2010

    Using data from the third School Nutrition Dietary Assessment Study (SNDA-III), this study assessed the quality of school-age children’s overall diets and the relationship to school meal participation, using a version of the Healthy Eating Index (HEI)-2005 adapted to use with a school-age population.

  • Vegetables and Melons Outlook: August 2009

    VGS-333-01, August 19, 2009

    Growth over time in the demand for fresh vegetables for at-home consumption may slow because of differences in the behavior of younger and older birth cohorts. A birth cohort includes people born in the same year and is similar in concept to a generation. People born around the same point in history may share common behaviors that they carry throughout their lives independent of age. People born more recently are found to spend less money for fresh vegetables than older Americans do. Changes in how people purchase and consume food may help to explain these effects.

  • School Meal Program Participation and Its Association with Dietary Patterns and Childhood Obesity

    CCR-55, July 01, 2009

    This study used data from the School Nutrition Dietary Assessment III Study to examine the dietary patterns of school meal program participants and nonparticipants and the relationship between school meal participation and children’s Body Mass Index (BMI). School Breakfast Program (SBP) participants ate more low-nutrient energy-dense (LNED) baked goods and more calories at breakfast than did nonparticipants.

  • Access to Affordable and Nutritious Food-Measuring and Understanding Food Deserts and Their Consequences: Report to Congress

    AP-036, June 25, 2009

    This report fills a request for a study of food deserts-areas with limited access to affordable and nutritious food-from the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008. The report summarizes findings of a national-level assessment of the extent and characteristics of food deserts, analysis of the consequences of food deserts, lessons learned from related Federal programs, and a discussion of policy options for alleviating the effects of food deserts. Overall, findings show that a small percentage of consumers are constrained in their ability to access affordable nutritious food because they live far from a supermarket or large grocery store and do not have easy access to transportation.