Eating patterns and energy and nutrient intakes of US women

J Am Diet Assoc. 1992 Jun;92(6):698-704, 707.


A longitudinal multivariate analysis was used to determine whether differences in energy and nutrient intakes were present for women classified into different eating patterns. Ten multidimensional eating patterns were created based on the proportion of energy consumed at home and at seven away-from-home locations. Data were from 1,120 women aged 19 through 50 years who were surveyed up to six times over a 1-year period as part of the 1985 Continuing Survey of Food Intake by Individuals, US Department of Agriculture. Data from 5,993 days were analyzed. To examine differences in energy and nutrient intakes, longitudinal multivariate analyses were used to control for eating pattern and factors such as demographics, season, and day of week. Younger women in the Fast Food eating pattern consumed the greatest intakes of energy, total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium. Well-educated, higher-income women in the Restaurant pattern consumed diets with the highest overall fat density. Nutrient densities for dietary fiber, calcium, vitamin C, and folacin were particularly low in away-from-home eating patterns. In contrast, moderately educated, middle-aged and middle-income women in the Home Mixed eating pattern (70% at home, 30% away from home) consumed the most healthful diets. We conclude that knowledge of demographics such as income and education is not enough to target dietary interventions. Rather, educational efforts must consider both demographics and the location of away-from-home eating. This will allow development of behavioral change strategies that consider food choices dictated by the eating environment as well as personal knowledge and attitude factors related to adoption of healthful food choices.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage
  • Eating*
  • Educational Status
  • Employment
  • Energy Intake*
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Income
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Restaurants
  • Seasons
  • Social Class
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • United States


  • Dietary Fats