November 5, 2018

More Americans eating prepared food, USDA study reports

A newly released report from a U.S. Department of Agriculture study shows Americans are eating prepared food more often.

The USDA’s Adult Eating & Health Module for 2014-16 shows that 58 percent of Americans, ages 18 and up, said they ate prepared food from a deli, carry-out, fast food or delivery food within the previous week. The percentage was highest among 18-to-24-year-olds at 68 percent and got progressively lower the older the age demographic — age 65 and older was 42 percent.

Those who did eat prepared food reported doing so an average of 2.8 times within the previous seven days. Again, number was highest among 18-to-24-year-olds (3.1 times) and decreased with each older demographic to 2.2 instances among those 65 and older.

The majority of parents said they’d eaten prepared food in the past week. More than 64 percent of couples with children said they had versus 55 percent of couples with no children saying so. That ratio was similar with single parents (60.7 percent) and single people with no children (52.1 percent).

Overall ages were slightly higher for men (59.6 percent) than women (56.9 percent).

The full report can be found here.

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