This article is free to access.
Background: Out-of-home meals have been characterised as delivering excessively large portions that can lead to high energy intake. Regular consumption is linked to weight gain and diet related diseases. Consumption of out-of-home meals is associated with socio-demographic and anthropometric factors, but the relationship between habitual consumption of such meals and mean daily energy intake has not been studied in both adults and children in the UK. Methods: We analysed adult and child data from waves 1-4 of the UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey using generalized linear modelling. We investigated whether individuals who report a higher habitual consumption of meals out in a restaurant or café, or takeaway meals at home had a higher mean daily energy intake, as estimated by a four-day food diary, whilst adjusting for key socio-demographic and anthropometric variables. Results: Adults who ate meals out at least weekly had a higher mean daily energy intake consuming 75-104 kcal more per day than those who ate these meals rarely. The equivalent figures for takeaway meals at home were 63-87 kcal. There was no association between energy intake and frequency of consumption of meals out in children. Children who ate takeaway meals at home at least weekly consumed 55-168 kcal more per day than those who ate these meals rarely. Additionally, in children, there was an interaction with socio-economic position, where greater frequency of consumption of takeaway meals was associated with higher mean daily energy intake in those from less affluent households than those from more affluent households. Conclusions: Higher habitual consumption of out-of-home meals is associated with greater mean daily energy intake in the UK. More frequent takeaway meal consumption in adults and children is associated with greater daily energy intake and this effect is greater in children from less affluent households. Interventions seeking to reduce energy content through reformulation or reduction of portion sizes in restaurants, cafés and takeaways could potentially lead to reductions in mean daily energy intake, and may reduce inequalities in health in children.
Goffe, L., Rushton, S., White, M., Adamson, A., & Adams, J. (2017). Relationship between mean daily energy intake and frequency of consumption of out-of-home meals in the UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 14(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12966-017-0589-5