Energy intake from commercially-prepared meals by food source in Korean adults: Analysis of the 2001 and 2011 Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys

  • Choi, Injoo (Department of Food and Nutrition, Seoul National University) ;
  • Kim, Won Gyoung (Department of Food and Nutrition, Seoul National University) ;
  • Yoon, Jihyun (Department of Food and Nutrition, Seoul National University)
  • Received : 2016.09.19
  • Accepted : 2016.10.23
  • Published : 2017.04.01


BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: The commercial foodservice industry in Korea has shown rapid growth recently. This study examined Korean adults' consumption of commercially-prepared meals based on where the food was prepared. SUBJECTS/METHODS: Data from a 24-hour dietary recall of the 2001 and 2011 Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys were analyzed. A total of 10,539 subjects (n = 6,152 in 2001; n = 4,387 in 2011) aged 19-64 years were included for analysis. Commercially-prepared meals were classified into four food source groups based on where the food was prepared: Korean restaurants, Chinese/Western/Japanese restaurants, fast-food restaurants, and retail stores. Subjects' energy intake, including the amount and proportion of calories, was examined for each food source. The analysis was also conducted by gender for age-stratified groups: 19-29, 30-49, and 50-64 years old. RESULTS: Korean adults' energy intake from commercially-prepared meals increased in the amount of calories (551 kcal to 635 kcal, P < 0.01), but not in the proportion of daily calories (27% to 28%) from 2001 to 2011. The most frequent food source of commercially-prepared meals was Korean restaurants in both years. The amount and proportion of calories from retail stores increased from 83 kcal to 143 kcal (P < 0.001) and from 4% to 7% (P < 0.001), respectively, during the same period. Males aged 30-49 years (34%) and females aged 19-29 years (35%) consumed the highest proportion of daily calories from commercially-prepared meals in 2011. CONCLUSIONS: Korean adults consumed about one-fourth of their energy intake from commercially-prepared meals. In particular, males aged 30-49 years and females aged 19-29 years consumed more than one-third of their energy intake from commercially-prepared meals. Korean restaurants played a significant role in Korean adults' energy intake. Retail stores increased influence on Korean adults' energy intake. These results could be useful for developing health promotion policies and programs.


Food services;restaurants;convenience foods;caloric intake;nutrition surveys


  1. Korea Statistical Information Service. Wholesale and retail trade survey [Internet]. Daejeon: Statistics Korea; 2014 [cited 2014 December 23]. Available from:
  2. Ministry of Health and Welfare, Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Korea Health Statistics 2013: Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES VI-1). Cheongju: Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 2014.
  3. Korean Medical Association, Research Institute for Healthcare Policy. A Study on Korean Diet and Health. Seoul: Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs; 2004.
  4. Lee JW. Effects of frequent eating-out and breakfast skipping on body mass index and nutrients intake of working male adults: analysis of 2001 Korea National Health and Nutrition Survey data. Korean J Community Nutr 2009;14:789-97.
  5. Park J, Kwock CK, Lee MA. The effect of foods with different sources on obesity prevalence. Korean J Agric Econ 2012;53:1-17.
  6. Lee KI, Hwang YJ, Ban HJ, Lim SJ, Jin HJ, Lee HS. Impact of the Growth of Single-person Households on the Food Market and Policy Tasks. Naju: Korea Rural Economic Institute; 2015.
  7. Park JH, You SY. Analysis on food consumption behavior and dietary satisfaction according to household type. Korean J Agric Econ 2016;57:103-38.
  8. Jo PK. The effects of the economic characteristics of single-person households on the food service industry. Korean J Community Nutr 2016;21:321-31.
  9. The Korean Society of Community Nutrition, Korea Health Promotion Foundation. Social structural changes and increasing single-person households: impact on public health and social economy. Summer Symposium of the Korean Society of Community Nutrition; 2016 Jun 3; Seoul. Seoul: the Korean Society of Community Nutrition; 2016.
  10. Chung SJ, Kang SH, Song SM, Ryu SH, Yoon J. Developing a model for predicting Korean adult consumers who frequently eat food-away-from home: data mining of the 2001 National Health and Nutrition Survey. J Korean Home Econ Assoc 2005;43:225-34.
  11. Choi MK. An analysis of groups with diet problems associated with dining out. Korean J Food Nutr 2008;21:536-44.
  12. Koo S, Park K. Dietary behaviors and lifestyle characteristics related to frequent eating out among Korean adults. J Korean Soc Food Sci Nutr 2013;42:705-12.
  13. Lee KW, Song WO, Cho MS. Dietary quality differs by consumption of meals prepared at home vs. outside in Korean adults. Nutr Res Pract 2016;10:294-304.
  14. Burns C, Jackson M, Gibbons C, Stoney RM. Foods prepared outside the home: association with selected nutrients and body mass index in adult Australians. Public Health Nutr 2002;5:441-8.
  15. Paeratakul S, Ferdinand DP, Champagne CM, Ryan DH, Bray GA. Fast-food consumption among US adults and children: dietary and nutrient intake profile. J Am Diet Assoc 2003;103:1332-8.
  16. Bowman SA, Vinyard BT. Fast food consumption of U.S. adults: impact on energy and nutrient intakes and overweight status. J Am Coll Nutr 2004;23:163-8.
  17. Kant AK, Graubard BI. Eating out in America, 1987-2000: trends and nutritional correlates. Prev Med 2004;38:243-9.
  18. O'Dwyer NA, Gibney MJ, Burke SJ, McCarthy SN. The influence of eating location on nutrient intakes in Irish adults: implications for developing food-based dietary guidelines. Public Health Nutr 2005;8:258-65.
  19. Powell LM, Nguyen BT, Han E. Energy intake from restaurants: demographics and socioeconomics, 2003-2008. Am J Prev Med 2012;43:498-504.
  20. Drewnowski A, Rehm CD. Energy intakes of US children and adults by food purchase location and by specific food source. Nutr J 2013;12:59.
  21. Jaworowska A, Blackham T, Davies IG, Stevenson L. Nutritional challenges and health implications of takeaway and fast food. Nutr Rev 2013;71:310-8.
  22. Turrell G, Hewitt B, Patterson C, Oldenburg B. Measuring socioeconomic position in dietary research: is choice of socio-economic indicator important? Public Health Nutr 2003;6:191-200.
  23. Vlismas K, Stavrinos V, Panagiotakos DB. Socio-economic status, dietary habits and health-related outcomes in various parts of the world: a review. Cent Eur J Public Health 2009;17:55-63.
  24. Ministry of Health and Welfare (KR); The Korean Nutrition Society. Dietary Reference Intakes for Koreans 2015. Sejong: Ministry of Health and Welfare; 2016.
  25. Poti JM, Popkin BM. Trends in energy intake among US children by eating location and food source, 1977-2006. J Am Diet Assoc 2011;111:1156-64.
  26. Carlson A, Gerrior S. Food source makes a difference in diet quality. J Nutr Educ Behav 2006;38:238-43.
  27. Song YJ. The pattern of eating out among Korean adults from 4th Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Public Health Wkly Rep 2010;3:597-602.
  28. Ahn EM, Kang MS, Gong JE, Choe JS, Park YH, Lee JY, Kim HR. The changes of energy nutrient intake, frequently consumed dishes and staple food consumption - based on the First to the Fourth (1998-2008) Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES I-IV-2). Korean J Community Living Sci 2011;22:669-78.
  29. Zenk SN, Powell LM, Isgor Z, Rimkus L, Barker DC, Chaloupka FJ. Prepared food availability in U.S. food stores: a national study. Am J Prev Med 2015;49:553-62.
  30. Kwon YS, Ju SY. Trends in nutrient intakes and consumption while eating-out among Korean adults based on Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (1998-2012) data. Nutr Res Pract 2014;8:670-8.
  31. Chung SJ, Kang SH, Song SM, Ryu SH, Yoon J. Nutritional quality of Korean adults' consumption of lunch prepared at home, commercial places, and institutions: analysis of the data from the 2001 National Health and Nutrition Survey. Korean J Nutr 2006;39:841-9.
  32. Rosenheck R. Fast food consumption and increased caloric intake: a systematic review of a trajectory towards weight gain and obesity risk. Obes Rev 2008;9:535-47.
  33. Lachat C, Nago E, Verstraeten R, Roberfroid D, van Camp J, Kolsteren P. Eating out of home and its association with dietary intake: a systematic review of the evidence. Obes Rev 2012;13:329-46.
  34. Nguyen BT, Powell LM. The impact of restaurant consumption among US adults: effects on energy and nutrient intakes. Public Health Nutr 2014;17:2445-52.
  35. An R. Fast-food and full-service restaurant consumption and daily energy and nutrient intakes in US adults. Eur J Clin Nutr 2016;70:97-103.
  36. Binkley JK, Eales J, Jekanowski M. The relation between dietary change and rising US obesity. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 2000;24:1032-9.
  37. Pieroni L, Salmasi L. Fast-food consumption and body weight. Evidence from the UK. Food Policy 2014;46:94-105.
  38. Kant AK, Whitley MI, Graubard BI. Away from home meals: associations with biomarkers of chronic disease and dietary intake in American adults, NHANES 2005-2010. Int J Obes 2015;39:820-7.
  39. Seguin RA, Aggarwal A, Vermeylen F, Drewnowski A. Consumption frequency of foods away from home linked with higher body mass index and lower fruit and vegetable intake among adults: a cross-sectional study. J Environ Public Health 2016;2016:3074241.
  40. Lin BH, Guthrie J. Nutritional Quality of Food Prepared at Home and Away from Home, 1977-2008. Washington (D.C.): U. S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service; 2012.
  41. Duffey KJ, Gordon-Larsen P, Jacobs DR Jr, Williams OD, Popkin BM. Differential associations of fast food and restaurant food consumption with 3-y change in body mass index: the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults Study. Am J Clin Nutr 2007;85:201-8.
  42. Dave JM, An LC, Jeffery RW, Ahluwalia JS. Relationship of attitudes toward fast food and frequency of fast-food intake in adults. Obesity (Silver Spring) 2009;17:1164-70.
  43. Becerra MB, Herring P, Marshak HH, Banta JE. Generational differences in fast food intake among South-Asian Americans: results from a population-based survey. Prev Chronic Dis 2014;11:E211.
  44. Rehm CD, Drewnowski A. A new method to monitor the contribution of fast food restaurants to the diets of US children. PLoS One 2014;9:e103543.
  45. Na JK. A study of the foodservice industry characteristics. J Table Food Coord 2011;6:15-30.
  46. Story M, Kaphingst KM, Robison-O'Brien R, Glanz K. Creating healthy food and eating environments: policy and environmental approaches. Annu Rev Public Health 2008;29:253-72.
  47. Lee KI, Choi JW, Heo SY, Ban HJ, Lim SJ, Park IH, Kim TH. The Consumer Behavior Survey for Food 2015. Naju: Korea Rural Economic Institute; 2015.
  48. Vandevijvere S, Lachat C, Kolsteren P, van Oyen H. Eating out of home in Belgium: current situation and policy implications. Br J Nutr 2009;102:921-8.
  49. van der Horst K, Brunner TA, Siegrist M. Fast food and take-away food consumption are associated with different lifestyle characteristics. J Hum Nutr Diet 2011;24:596-602.
  50. Kim E, Oh SW. Gender differences in the association of occupation with metabolic syndrome in Korean adults. Korean J Obes 2012;21:108-14.
  51. Du WW, Zhang B, Wang HJ, Wang ZH, Su C, Zhang JG, Zhang J, Jia XF, Jiang HR. Gender difference in the association between food away-from-home consumption and body weight outcomes among Chinese adults. Public Health Nutr 2016;19:2984-90.
  52. Na DW, Jeong E, Noh EK, Chung JS, Choi CH, Park J. Dietary factors and metabolic syndrome in middle-aged men. J Agric Med Community Health 2010;35:383-94.
  53. Kweon SH. Status of under- & over-nutrition in Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES). Public Health Wkly Rep 2014;7:1077-80.
  54. Choi MK, Kim TY, Yoon JS. Does frequent eating out cause undesirable food choices? Association of food away from home with food consumption frequencies and obesity among Korean housewives. Ecol Food Nutr 2011;50:263-80.
  55. Bak H, Kim HS. A study of association dining-out, nutritional intakes and health risk factors among Korean women using the data of Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES VI). Korean J Culinary Res 2015;21:139-46.