The biggest fundamental shift to our eating patterns over the last 50 years (apart from changing to the meat-heavy, sugar-rich, highly-processed and low-fibre diet), is the fact that we eat outside of home so often now.
“We need more research to tease this out a little more, but what is clear is that when people cook more frequently at home they consume fewer calories overall, and many fewer calories from foods away from home which we know are typically more highly processed and higher in calories, fat, sugar and salt”
Julia A. Wolfson, MPP, a CLF-Lerner Fellow at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, November 2014.
The bottom line?
- If you usually eat dinner at home, you are more likely to eat less overall
- People who made dinner at least six nights a week, ate 137 fewer calories per day on average than those eating out six nights per week
- The more people cooked their own foods, the less calories they ate
- In 8% of homes, dinner was provided just once weekly and they ate 2,301 calories a day (on average)
- In 48% of homes, dinner was provided six times a week and they ate 2,164 calories a day (on average)
- Those eating home-cooked dinners more frequently were eating less processed carbohydrates, added sugar and fat
Study by Julia A Wolfson, and Sara N Bleich “Is cooking at home associated with better diet quality or weight-loss intention?” as published in the November 19, 2014 issue of AICR’s Cancer Research Update; Public Health Nutrition. The study authors used data from almost 9,600 adult participants of the US Government National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.