Americans spend one trillion dollars a year on food. Half of every food dollar is spent on food outside the home. One would expect that at least half the calories we consume would be outside the home as well. Maybe more, because home cooking is healthier right?
But in a study recently published in Nutrition Journal, it appears that only 30% of calories come from food outside the home. More precise data:
- Depending on age, supermarkets and convenience stores were the food purchase locations for between 63% and 70% of calories in the US diet.
- Restaurants provided between 17% and 26% of total calories.
- School meals provided 10% of calories for kids and 6% for adolescents.
- Vending machines provided less than 1% of calories.
- Pizza away from home provided 2.2% of calories in the diets of children and 3.4% in the diets of adolescents. Just pizza!
- Soda, energy, and sports drinks from fast food establishments provided approximately 1.2% of calories.
In other words, limiting your visits to McDonald’s and TGI Friday’s won’t suffice if you want to eat healthier and lose weight. You need to do some serious work on the home front as well.