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J Am Diet Assoc. 1999 Apr;99(4):442-4.

The effect of eating out on quality of diet in premenopausal women.

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  • 1Consumer Science and Education Department, University of Memphis, TN 38152, USA.



To compare the intake of women who report varying levels of frequency of consuming food at commercial facilities outside the home.


A 1-week descriptive study of dietary intake in women. Subjects completed daily diet records that included information regarding the source of the food eaten at each meal or snack. The sample was divided on the basis of the number of meals each subject reported obtaining from a commercial establishment outside the home. Of the 129 subjects, 56% (n = 72) reported eating out 5 times or less during the week of recording (Low Eating Out group) and the remainder (n = 57) reported eating out between 6 and 13 times (High Eating Out group)


One hundred twenty-nine premenopausal women were recruited via community advertising for an investigation of health habits. This study was conducted in a midsouthern US city.


Results were analyzed using independent sample t tests and chi 2 tests.


Mean intake was compared for the groups. The High Eating Out group was found to be consuming significantly more total energy (2,057 kcal vs 1,769 kcal; P = .002), fat (79.5 g vs 60.6 g; P < .001), and sodium (3,299 mg vs 2,903 mg; P = .043) and marginally more carbohydrate (261.5 g vs 234.6 g; P = .055) and protein (71.5 g vs 65.4 g; P = .066). Total fiber or calcium intake did not differ between the groups.


Our study demonstrates that women who report eating out a greater number of times per week report more total energy intake as well as higher fat and sodium intakes. However, the High Eating Out group did not consume significantly more fiber or calcium in the extra energy consumed.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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