American Eating and Drinking Patterns

American eating and drinking patterns
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service
Contact: Karen Hamrick

On an average day in 2006, Americans age 15 and older spent 67 minutes eating and drinking as a “primary”, or main, activity, and 16 minutes eating and 42 minutes drinking (except plain water) as a secondary activity—that is, eating while engaged in another activity considered primary by the individual. Eight percent of the population spent 4.5 hours or more a day on eating/drinking as either a primary or secondary activity. About 9 percent of Americans’ secondary eating and drinking occurred while driving a vehicle, walking, or biking. Secondary eating or drinking was most frequently accompanied by socializing, relaxing, and leisure, which includes watching television.

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