Eating Out of Home Linked to Higher Calorie and Fat Intake

Associated with lower micronutrient intake; in particular, vitamin C, calcium, and iron

FRIDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Eating out of home (OH) is associated with higher total energy and fat intake, according to research published online Nov. 23 in Obesity Reviews.

Carl Lachat, Ph.D., from the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, Belgium, and colleagues reviewed available literature through 2011 to assess the nutritional characteristics associated with eating OH, and its associations with energy intake, dietary quality, and socioeconomic status. Of the 7,319 peer-reviewed studies identified, 29 met the inclusion criteria, and the quality of data was evaluated. Sensitivity analyses were carried out on isolated nationally representative data from six countries and large cohort studies from 11 countries.

The investigators found that, in all age groups, OH foods represented an important source of energy, and their energy contribution was higher in adolescents and young adults. There was an association between eating OH and increased total energy intake, contribution of fat to the daily diet, and higher socioeconomic status. Two large studies reported a correlation between eating OH and reduced intake of micronutrients, particularly vitamin C, calcium, and iron.

"We conclude that eating OH is a risk factor for higher energy and fat intake and lower micronutrient intake," the authors write.

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