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Eating out as a lifestyle driver of dietary intake: situation and policy options

Carl Lachat UGent (2011)
abstract
Overweight and diet related chronic diseases have replaced under nutrition as the major cause of poor health worldwide. Changes in dietary habits and lifestyle are believed to be driving this. During the last decades, eating out of home (OH) has gained importance in diets worldwide and current evidence indicates that this is associated with a higher total energy intake, energy contribution from fat and a lower intake of micronutrients in the daily diet. The large burden of cardiovascular and diet related chronic diseases is situated in low and middle income countries, especially those experiencing rapid socioeconomic development. In Vietnam for example, foods prepared OH accounted for 42% of fruit and vegetable, 23% of Na, 21% of energy, 21% of vitamin A, 21% of Fe and 21% of Zn in the diet of adolescents. Eating OH added a number of desirable foods and nutrients but was associated with higher consumption of energy from fat and sugary products as well. Two main sets of determinants drive this eating OH. A number of adolescents report to eat OH more frequently because of its perceived convenience, variety, taste and enjoyable social aspects. Other adolescents however, eat OH less frequently because of concerns regarding hygiene and fat or salt content of food prepared OH. Aspects of both the traditional and the westernised diet are reflected in the eating OH behaviour of Vietnamese adolescents. Eating OH hence deserves attention in countries such as Vietnam. Provided nutritional and food safety concerns are addressed, the promotion of convenient traditional foods could hence contribute to healthy eating OH. In contrast to low and middle income countries, eating OH mainly takes place in restaurants and public canteens in many high income countries. In Belgium for instance, more than 35% of the Belgian population > 15 years of age consumes more than 25% of their daily energy OH. This is potentially worrying as energy intake, energy density of the total diet and daily consumption of most food groups are higher in those consuming more OH compared to others. Worksite canteens are the most important sources of eating OH in Belgium and here the portion size of vegetables is significantly lower compared with other places of eating OH. The opposite is observed for fruit. In a university canteen for instance only 5% of the meal combinations available and consumed complied with three basic nutritional recommendations for a warm lunch meal. The assessment of canteen lunches also showed that the nutritional profile of the meals consumed by the customers is largely determined by what was available. This suggests that an improvement of the canteen lunches could enhance diets of customers. Indeed, providing an additional portion of free fruit and vegetables increased fruit consumption by 80 g and vegetables intake by 108 g on a daily basis. Interestingly, the increased vegetable intake was not only observed at lunch: more vegetables were consumed during dinner and evening snacks as well. The case study in the university canteen demonstrates how modifications in meals offered in a canteen can not only improve the nutritional quality of the lunch but also that of the overall diet. A concerted policy response is needed to tackle lifestyle determinants of diet related chronic diseases such as eating OH. The effectiveness of actions to address this will depend on the involvement of different stakeholders. Despite this however, the catering sector is rarely involved in nutrition policy development in low and middle income countries. This is different in Europe, where most of the nutrition policies foresee a role for the catering sector. The strategies developed for the catering sector are related to labelling and advertisement of foods and training of health and catering staff. Strategies to ensure affordability of healthy eating OH or to improve healthy eating OH in a commercial setting (from vending machine, take-away establishments, restaurants, bars for instance) are poorly developed. When being asked what actions are considered essential to foster participation in policy development for healthy eating OH, caterers report that technical support and capacity building to compose a healthy meal and a working definition of “healthy foods” are urgently needed. Additionally, there is a need for acceptable implementation modalities of the strategies for healthy eating and proper communication of these messages to both consumers and caterers. These issues are particularly manifested in small and medium sized food operators, who make up an important share of eating OH in Europe. Provided that a number of critical issues are addressed, there are clearly opportunities for the catering sector to capitalise on the current demand for healthy eating OH. This research identifies eating OH as a major driver affecting dietary intake. It shows however, that additional efforts are warranted to promote healthy eating OH, in particular with respect to the quality of the food offered. As eating OH is a global trend, investment in healthier eating OH is a unique window of opportunity to improve diets and avert the development of diet related chronic diseases worldwide.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
promoter
UGent and UGent
organization
alternative title
Buitenshuis eten als omgevingsfactor voor eetgedrag : situatie en beleidsopties
year
type
dissertation (monograph)
subject
keyword
dietary intake, eating habits, eating out, catering
pages
III, 221 + annexes pages
publisher
Ghent University. Faculty of Bioscience Engineering
place of publication
Ghent, Belgium
defense location
Gent : Faculteit Bio-ingenieurswetenschappen (A0.030)
defense date
2011-12-05 14:00
ISBN
9789059894891
language
English
UGent publication?
yes
classification
D1
additional info
dissertation consists of copyrighed material
copyright statement
I have transferred the copyright for this publication to the publisher
id
1958111
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-1958111
date created
2011-12-02 10:28:14
date last changed
2011-12-05 09:09:48
@phdthesis{1958111,
  abstract     = {Overweight and diet related chronic diseases have replaced under nutrition as the major cause of poor health worldwide. Changes in dietary habits and lifestyle are believed to be driving this. During the last decades, eating out of home (OH) has gained importance in diets worldwide and current evidence indicates that this is associated with a higher total energy intake, energy contribution from fat and a lower intake of micronutrients in the daily diet. 
The large burden of cardiovascular and diet related chronic diseases is situated in low and middle income countries, especially those experiencing rapid socioeconomic development. In Vietnam for example, foods prepared OH accounted for 42\% of fruit and vegetable, 23\% of Na, 21\% of energy, 21\% of vitamin A, 21\% of Fe and 21\% of Zn in the diet of adolescents. Eating OH added a number of desirable foods and nutrients but was associated with higher consumption of energy from fat and sugary products as well. Two main sets of determinants drive this eating OH. A number of adolescents report to eat OH more frequently because of its perceived convenience, variety, taste and enjoyable social aspects. Other adolescents however, eat OH less frequently because of concerns regarding hygiene and fat or salt content of food prepared OH. Aspects of both the traditional and the westernised diet are reflected in the eating OH behaviour of Vietnamese adolescents. Eating OH hence deserves attention in countries such as Vietnam. Provided nutritional and food safety concerns are addressed, the promotion of convenient traditional foods could hence contribute to healthy eating OH. 
In contrast to low and middle income countries, eating OH mainly takes place in restaurants and public canteens in many high income countries. In Belgium for instance, more than 35\% of the Belgian population {\textrangle} 15 years of age consumes more than 25\% of their daily energy OH. This is potentially worrying as energy intake, energy density of the total diet and daily consumption of most food groups are higher in those consuming more OH compared to others. Worksite canteens are the most important sources of eating OH in Belgium and here the portion size of vegetables is significantly lower compared with other places of eating OH. The opposite is observed for fruit. In a university canteen for instance only 5\% of the meal combinations available and consumed complied with three basic nutritional recommendations for a warm lunch meal. The assessment of canteen lunches also showed that the nutritional profile of the meals consumed by the customers is largely determined by what was available. This suggests that an improvement of the canteen lunches could enhance diets of customers. Indeed, providing an additional portion of free fruit and vegetables increased fruit consumption by 80 g and vegetables intake by 108 g on a daily basis. Interestingly, the increased vegetable intake was not only observed at lunch: more vegetables were consumed during dinner and evening snacks as well. The case study in the university canteen demonstrates how modifications in meals offered in a canteen can not only improve the nutritional quality of the lunch but also that of the overall diet.
A concerted policy response is needed to tackle lifestyle determinants of diet related chronic diseases such as eating OH. The effectiveness of actions to address this will depend on the involvement of different stakeholders. Despite this however, the catering sector is rarely involved in nutrition policy development in low and middle income countries. This is different in Europe, where most of the nutrition policies foresee a role for the catering sector. The strategies developed for the catering sector are related to labelling and advertisement of foods and training of health and catering staff. Strategies to ensure affordability of healthy eating OH or to improve healthy eating OH in a commercial setting (from vending machine, take-away establishments, restaurants, bars for instance) are poorly developed. When being asked what actions are considered essential to foster participation in policy development for healthy eating OH, caterers report that technical support and capacity building to compose a healthy meal and a working definition of {\textquotedblleft}healthy foods{\textquotedblright} are urgently needed. Additionally, there is a need for acceptable implementation modalities of the strategies for healthy eating and proper communication of these messages to both consumers and caterers. These issues are particularly manifested in small and medium sized food operators, who make up an important share of eating OH in Europe. Provided that a number of critical issues are addressed, there are clearly opportunities for the catering sector to capitalise on the current demand for healthy eating OH. 
This research identifies eating OH as a major driver affecting dietary intake. It shows however, that additional efforts are warranted to promote healthy eating OH, in particular with respect to the quality of the food offered. As eating OH is a global trend, investment in healthier eating OH is a unique window of opportunity to improve diets and avert the development of diet related chronic diseases worldwide.},
  author       = {Lachat, Carl},
  isbn         = {9789059894891},
  keyword      = {dietary intake,eating habits,eating out,catering},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {III, 221 + annexes},
  publisher    = {Ghent University. Faculty of Bioscience Engineering},
  school       = {Ghent University},
  title        = {Eating out as a lifestyle driver of dietary intake: situation and policy options},
  year         = {2011},
}

Chicago
Lachat, Carl. 2011. “Eating Out as a Lifestyle Driver of Dietary Intake: Situation and Policy Options”. Ghent, Belgium: Ghent University. Faculty of Bioscience Engineering.
APA
Lachat, C. (2011). Eating out as a lifestyle driver of dietary intake: situation and policy options. Ghent University. Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent, Belgium.
Vancouver
1.
Lachat C. Eating out as a lifestyle driver of dietary intake: situation and policy options. [Ghent, Belgium]: Ghent University. Faculty of Bioscience Engineering; 2011.
MLA
Lachat, Carl. “Eating Out as a Lifestyle Driver of Dietary Intake: Situation and Policy Options.” 2011 : n. pag. Print.