Diet Quality in the United States Improved during the Great Recession and Deteriorated During Economic Recovery.

Citation metadata

Date: May 2022
Publisher: Elsevier Science Publishers
Document Type: Survey; Report; Brief article
Length: 356 words

Document controls

Main content

Abstract :

Keywords Healthy Eating Index; Economic conditions; Recession; NHANES Abstract Background Macroeconomic changes are associated with population health outcomes, such as mortality, accidents, and alcohol use. Diet quality is a risk or protective factor that could be influenced by economic conditions. Objective This study examined the trajectory of diet quality measured by the Healthy Eating Index 2015 before, during, and after the 2008-2009 Great Recession. Design Repeated cross-sectional survey data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey were analyzed. Participants/setting The analytic sample included 48,679 adults who completed at least one dietary recall from National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2018. Main outcome measures Diet quality was assessed with a 24-hour dietary recall to calculate the Healthy Eating Index 2015 total scores, a measure of the conformance with the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Statistical analyses performed Least squares regression was used to adjust for demographic changes across waves. Results Diet quality improved noticeably during the Great Recession and deteriorated as economic conditions improved. Conclusions Deteriorating economic circumstances may constrain choices, but that does not necessarily imply a worsening of dietary quality. During the Great Recession, American diets became more consistent with Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommendations, possibly because of a shift toward food prepared at home instead of prepared food bought away from home. Author Affiliation: (1) RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, California (2) Pardee RAND Graduate School, Santa Monica, California * Address correspondence to: Annie Yu-An Chen, DDS, MS, RAND Corporation, PO Box 2138, 1776 Main St, Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138. Article History: Received 17 February 2021; Accepted 30 September 2021 (footnote) STATEMENT OF POTENTIAL CONFLICT OF INTEREST No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors. (footnote) FUNDING/SUPPORT This article was supported through National Institutes of Health (grant R01HD087257). (footnote) AUTHOR CONTRIBUTIONS A. Y.-A. Chen and R. Sturm had full access to all the data in the study and take responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis. Both authors wrote the first draft and both reviewed and commented on subsequent drafts of the manuscript. Byline: Annie Yu-An Chen, DDS, MS [anniec@rand.org] (1,2,*), Roland Sturm, PhD (1)

Source Citation

Source Citation   

Gale Document Number: GALE|A700982612