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Give Convenience Foods a Healthy Makeover

      Demand for convenience foods, foods that save time in meal preparation or cleanup, is increasing in the US.
      • Okrent AM
      • Kumcu A.
      U.S. Household's Demand for Convenience Foods.
      Less time to prepare meals because of demanding work schedules or food budget constraints are possible contributors to purchasing cheaper, processed options over fresh, whole foods.
      • Okrent AM
      • Kumcu A.
      U.S. Household's Demand for Convenience Foods.
      This trend has implications on diet quality and health as well, because processed convenience foods tend to be higher in fat and sodium.
      • Volpe R
      • Okrent A.
      Assessing the Healthfulness of Consumers’ Grocery Purchases.
      ,

      US Department of Health and Human Services, US Department of Agriculture. 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 8th ed. Washington, DC: US Department of Agriculture; 2015.https://health.gov/our-work/food-and-nutrition/2015-2020-dietary-guidelines/. Accessed April 25, 2020.

      In contrast, consuming more meals at home is associated with a healthier diet overall
      • Wolfson JA
      • Bleich SN.
      Is cooking at home associated with better diet quality or weight-loss intention?.
      ; therefore, there is a need to balance Americans’ preference for affordable, convenient options with health concerns to make it easier to prepare more nutritious meals at home.
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      REFERENCES

        • Okrent AM
        • Kumcu A.
        U.S. Household's Demand for Convenience Foods.
        Economic Research Report Number 211. Washington, DC: US Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, 2016
        • Volpe R
        • Okrent A.
        Assessing the Healthfulness of Consumers’ Grocery Purchases.
        Economic Information Bulletin Number 102. Washington, DC: US Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, 2012
      1. US Department of Health and Human Services, US Department of Agriculture. 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 8th ed. Washington, DC: US Department of Agriculture; 2015.https://health.gov/our-work/food-and-nutrition/2015-2020-dietary-guidelines/. Accessed April 25, 2020.

        • Wolfson JA
        • Bleich SN.
        Is cooking at home associated with better diet quality or weight-loss intention?.
        Public Health Nutr. 2015; 18: 1397-1406
      2. US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. Nutrient Intakes from Food and Beverages: Mean Amounts Consumed per Individual, by Gender and Age, What We Eat in America, NHANES 2013–2014. Washington, DC: US Department of Agriculture; 2016.