Eating Patterns in a Free-Living Healthy U. S. Adult Population

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine; Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



Feeding Behavior


Behavioral Disciplines and Activities | Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms | Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Dietetics and Clinical Nutrition | Epidemiology | Preventive Medicine


The primary objective of this study was to describe eating patterns (e.g., breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacking, number of eating episodes, temporal patterns of eating across the 24-hour day, and the frequency of eating out) in a healthy U.S. population in order to provide a basis for future studies on the association between eating patterns and disease. Twenty-four hour dietary recalls were used to assess eating patterns, and cross-sectional analyses were conducted. Ninety-six percent of subjects usually consumed breakfast, 78% consumed lunch, 95% consumed dinner, and 60% consumed snacks. On average, participants ate 3.92 times daily (standard deviation(SD)=0.8). Caloric intake on weekend days was significantly greater than on weekdays. There was a tendency of participants to eat meals frequently outside of the home.

DOI of Published Version



Ma Yunsheng, Bertone Elizabeth R., Stanek III Edward J., Reed George W, Hebert James R., Cohen Nancy L. Olendzki Barbara C., Rosal Milagros C., Merriam Philip A., Ockene Ira S. Eating Patterns in a Free-living Healthy U.S. Adult Population. Ecol of Food and Nutr.; 44(1):37-56, 2005. DOI: 10.1080/03670240590904326

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Ecology of Food and Nutrition