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Hey Americans, It's Your Restaurants (Not Mom) That's Making You Fat

Article illustrative image Partner logo Sodium is always on the menu

Americans started eating out a lot more over the past thirty years, a trend that likely caused obesity rates to skyrocket, according to a new USDA report.

The study tracked caloric and nutrient consumption at home versus restaurants, fast food establishments and schools between 1978 and 2008. 

Their results:

Over the past 30 years, food prepared away from home (FAFH) has become a regular part of most Americans’ diets, and those who monitor food trends expect this to continue...Unfortunately, consumption of FAFH has been found to increase caloric intake and reduce diet quality."

Here's their data for percent changes in calorie source:

And foods served away from home have a ton more sodium than ones not served at home:


They conclude: "More research on the effects of regular, long-term consumption of FAFH on caloric intake, diet quality, and weight status is needed, but our results suggest that its association with higher caloric intake and lower diet quality deserves public health attention."

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