Association of out-of-home eating with anthropometric changes: a systematic review of prospective studies

Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2014;54(9):1103-16. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2011.627095.


In the present review, the association of out-of-home eating with anthropometric changes was examined. Peer-reviewed studies in eight databases were searched, and 15 prospective studies were included in the review. The quality of the data was assessed by considering risks of bias in sample selection, data collection methods, and the appropriateness of statistical tests. From this, seven studies, which used relatively large samples or had a follow-up period longer than 10 years, were retained for further analysis. It was concluded that eating out-of-home frequently, in the broad sense, is positively associated with the risk of becoming overweight or obese and weight change. With regard to specific out-of-home sources, the review shows that eating at fast-food outlets is associated with a greater increase in body weight and waist circumference over time than eating at restaurants and takeaway foods positively predict BMI change in women. More research is needed on out-of-home foods other than fast-foods and restaurant foods, such as street, canteen, and school foods.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anthropometry
  • Body Mass Index
  • Child
  • Diet*
  • Energy Intake
  • Fast Foods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Overweight / epidemiology*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Restaurants*
  • Risk Factors
  • Waist Circumference
  • Weight Gain