Public Health Nutrition

HOT TOPIC – The WHO)s 2004 global strategy on diet, physical activity, and health: status and renewal of effort

The impact of restaurant consumption among US adults: effects on energy and nutrient intakes

Binh T Nguyena1 c1 and Lisa M Powella2

a1 Economic and Health Policy Research, American Cancer Society, Inc., 250 Williams Street, Atlanta, GA 30303, USA

a2 Health Policy and Administration, School of Public Health, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA


Objective To examine the effect of fast-food and full-service restaurant consumption on adults’ energy intake and dietary indicators.

Design Individual-level fixed-effects regression model estimation based on two different days of dietary intake data was used.

Setting Parallel to the rising obesity epidemic in the USA, there has been a marked upward trend in total energy intake derived from food away from home.

Subjects The full sample included 12 528 respondents aged 20–64 years who completed 24 h dietary recall interviews for both day 1 and day 2 in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2003–2004, 2005–2006, 2007–2008 and 2009–2010.

Results Fast-food and full-service restaurant consumption, respectively, was associated with an increase in daily total energy intake of 813·75 kJ (194·49 kcal) and 858·04 kJ (205·21 kcal) and with higher intakes of saturated fat (3·48 g and 2·52 g) and Na (296·38 mg and 451·06 mg). Individual characteristics moderated the impacts of restaurant food consumption with adverse impacts on net energy intake being larger for black adults compared with their white and Hispanic counterparts and greater for middle-income v. high-income adults.

Conclusions Adults’ fast-food and full-service restaurant consumption was associated with higher daily total energy intake and poorer dietary indicators.

(Received November 21 2013)

(Revised March 25 2014)

(Accepted May 06 2014)

(Online publication July 30 2014)


  • Fast food;
  • Full-service restaurant;
  • Food away from home;
  • Energy intake;
  • Obesity;
  • Diet quality


c1 Corresponding author: Email