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Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Dec;90(6):1648-55. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.2009.28371. Epub 2009 Oct 28.

Eating out of home in Vietnamese adolescents: socioeconomic factors and dietary associations.

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  • 1NutritionChild Health Unit Prince Leopold Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium.



Out-of-home (OH) eating in developed countries is associated with suboptimal dietary intakes, but evidence is scarce on the situation in developing countries.


The objective of this study was to determine the nutritional contribution of OH eating and related socioeconomic determinants in Vietnamese adolescents.


A 24-h recall was used to collect food intake data in a cross-sectional study of 1172 adolescents living in urban and rural areas. Multilevel analysis compared the mean daily intakes of energy, energy density, energy from fat, food groups, vitamin A, iron, and zinc in low, middle, and high consumers of OH food. Socioeconomic associations of OH eating were analyzed in a subsample of 870 adolescents.


OH foods contributed 42% of fruit and vegetables, 23% of sodium, 21% of energy, 21% of vitamin A, 21% of iron, and 21% of zinc consumed per day. OH eating was negatively associated with total energy intake and energy density and positively associated with dietary diversity, energy contribution from fat, and consumption of sugar products. In rural areas, OH eating was positively associated with iron, fruit, meat, poultry, and offal intake. Female sex (P < 0.001), residence in urban areas (P < 0.001), and amount of pocket money (P < 0.001) were positively associated with consumption of OH foods.


OH eating added a number of desirable foods and nutrients but was also associated with higher consumption of energy from fat and sugar products. Independent of household wealth and locality, pocket money and sex are important determinants of OH eating.

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