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Americans are eating out less while eating healthier at home

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A new study released Thursday from the USDA reports that Americans are eating out less at restaurants, and eating in more at home, where they’re also eating healthier and consuming fewer calories.

The study, conducted by the USDA’s Economic Research Service, analyzed the eating habits of Americans from 2005 to 2012 and discovered that an increasing number of Americans are paying more attention to what they put in their mouth at home.

The study also reported that the average number of calories Americans consumed at home was reduced by 78 calories per day between 2005 and 2010. And caloric intake was reduced even further when consumed away from home at restaurants, where the average away-from-home diner consumed 127 calories less per day.

In addition, Americans improved their diets by increasing their fiber intake by 1.2 grams per day and lowering the overall total fat, saturated fat and cholesterol they consumed on a regular basis.

Among the participants in the study, 42 percent of young and middle-aged adults, as well as 57 percent of older adults, reported looking at the Nutrition Facts Panel on food and drink labels “most or all of the time” before making a food or drink choice.

If the same nutritional information was available for menu items in restaurants, 76 percent of the participants reported that they would use it.

The study also found that 20 percent of Americans reported they were eating out less due improved diet quality at home. Also mentioned was another study that found a 12.9 report reduction in eating out at restaurants during the recession, which resulted in more people eating at home, where they also spend more quality time with family during meals.

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