For the acronym challenged, brace yourself for yet another. FAFH is the part of the lexicon in a recent report on the "The Impact of Food Away From Home on Adult Diet Quality." In a few words the impact of FAFH on the average adult is not good. Holy McRib, we can hardly believe it.... The study points to the urgent need to get more fruits and vegetables in foodservice channels.


From the executive summary;The Impact of Food Away From Home on Adult Diet Quality
By Jessica E. Todd, Lisa Mancino, and Biing-Hwan Lin

Food away from home (FAFH) has been associated with poor diet quality in many studies. It is difficult, however, to measure the effect of FAFH on diet quality since many unobserved factors, such as food preferences and time constraints, influence not just our choice of where to eat but also the nutritional quality of what we eat.

 Using data from 1994-96 and 2003-04, this study applies fixed-effects estimation to control for such unobservable influences and finds that, for the average adult, FAFH increases daily caloric intake and reduces diet quality. The effects vary depending on which meals are consumed away from home. On average, breakfast away from home decreases the number of servings of whole grains and dairy consumed per 1,000 calories and increases the percent of calories from saturated and solid fat, alcohol, and added sugar (SoFAAS) in a day.

Dinner away from home reduces the number of servings of vegetables consumed per 1,000 calories for the average adult. Breakfast and lunch away from home increase calories from saturated fat and SoFAAS on average more among dieters than among nondieters. Some of the overall negative dietary effects decreased between 1994-96 and 2003-04, including those on whole grain, sodium, and vegetable consumption.

More from the study:


The impact of FAFH is greatest on the number of servings of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and dairy per 1,000 calories, but varies according to the meal. On average, the number of servings of fruit per 1,000 calories (dietary density) is reduced by as much as 22.3 percent (from lunch from FAFH), and the effect on the dietary density of whole fruit is even larger (reduced by 31.5 percent).

The negative effects on the density of whole grains and dark green and orange vegetables in the diet are similarly large for the average adult (reduced by 26.8 and 31.4 percent, respectively).

By comparison, effects on less healthful components (milligrams of sodium per 1,000 calories and percent of calories from saturated fat, solid fat, alcohol, and added sugar) range between 1.9 and 9.3 percent for the average adult.