Food Cravings, Ethnicity and Other Factors Related to Eating Out

Violet Perez Siwik, Janet H. Senf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Objective: Our objective was to study factors related to eating patterns, specifically whether certain food cravings were associated with frequency of meals eaten away from home. Methods: Data were collected from 277 patients from a family medicine residency office in Arizona. The survey questionnaire included information about the respondents’ demographics, socioeconomic status, food cravings, as well as, number of meals eaten away from home. The food craving inventory included foods in four categories identified by factor analysis: fast foods, carbohydrates, sweets and snacks. Data on food cravings were factor analyzed and scale scores were derived. Results: Being a Hispanic adult, working outside the home, and cravings for individual food items were related to eating more meals away from home. If the mother was working outside the home, the youngest child ate an average of two additional meals away from home each week. In general respondent’s cravings for some specific food items were also related to higher numbers of meals their child ate away from home. Cravings for both fast food and snacks were positively correlated with adult eating out. None of the respondents’ scale scores were related to child’s eating away from home. Adults with Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System insurance (AHCCCS—a form of Medicaid) and older adults were less likely to eat away from home compared to patients with other types of insurance. Conclusions: Socioeconomic status, ethnicity, and food cravings are related to adult and child patterns of eating meals away from home.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)382-388
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American College of Nutrition
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2006


  • Eating patterns
  • Food cravings
  • Meals away from home

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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