Fast-food and full-service restaurant consumption and daily energy and nutrient intakes in US adults



Calorie intake and diet quality are influenced by the source of food and the place of consumption. This study examines the impacts of fast-food and full-service restaurant consumption on daily energy and nutrient intakes in US adults.


Nationally representative data of 18 098 adults 18 years of age and above from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2003–2010 waves were analyzed. Outcomes included daily intake of total calories and 24 nutrients of public health concern. The key predictors were any food/beverage consumption in a day from fast-food or full-service restaurant, differentiated by consumption at home versus away from home. First-difference estimator addressed confounding bias from time-invariant unobservables such as personal food/beverage preferences by using within-individual variations in diet and restaurant consumption status between two nonconsecutive 24-h dietary recalls.


Fast-food and full-service restaurant consumption, respectively, were associated with a net increase in daily total energy intake of 190.29 and 186.74 kcal, total fat of 10.61 and 9.58 g, saturated fat of 3.49 and 2.46 g, cholesterol of 10.34 and 57.90 mg, and sodium of 297.47 and 411.92 mg. The impact of fast-food and full-service restaurant consumption on energy and nutrient intakes differed by sex, race/ethnicity, education, income and weight status. Increased total energy, total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium intake were substantially larger when full-service restaurant food was consumed away from home than at home.


A holistic policy intervention is warranted to target the American’s overall dining-out behavior rather than fast-food consumption alone.

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An, R. Fast-food and full-service restaurant consumption and daily energy and nutrient intakes in US adults. Eur J Clin Nutr 70, 97–103 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1038/ejcn.2015.104

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