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Data Shows Americans Are Spending More Money Eating Out Than on Groceries

Trend shows a larger cultural shift in the way that people eat

Data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that for the first time ever, Americans are spending more money eating out at restaurants than shopping at the grocery store. This shift reflects a change in food culture and raises questions of how this change is impacting American health, specifically the rise in obesity in the U.S., according to Quartz.

From 1970 to 2012, the amount of money spent on food outside the home increased from 25.9 percent to 43.1 percent. Quartz says this trend is “a well-established pattern stretching back to the 1970s that reflects the surge of female participation in the labor force outside domestic labor.” Women in the workforce aside, the Daily Intelligencer says there are other factors at play, namely, the move from farms in the country to factories and other jobs in the city, and millennials, who eat 3.4 times a week in comparison to 2.8 times a week for non-millennials.

On whether the increasing popularity of eating out over eating home cooked meals is a problem in regard to the health of Americans, it is important to consider the fact that food consumed away from home is usually higher in salt, saturated fat, and sodium, details Quartz.

Check out our guide to eating healthy at fast food chains.

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