The most popular eating times in the United States are 12 noon and 6 p.m.

Horizontal bar chart showing percentage of U.S. population engaged in primary eating and drinking and secondary eating throughout an average day in 2022.

Throughout an average day in 2022, individuals aged 15 and older exhibit two distinct peak time blocks for primary eating and drinking—between 12 noon and 12:59 p.m. and from 6 to 6:59 p.m. About 3 in 10 individuals engaged in primary eating and drinking during each of these periods. While some people prefer to eat and drink while not doing anything else (primary eating and drinking), others opt for grazing while multitasking (secondary eating). Notably, between 9 a.m. and 9:59 p.m., at least 5 percent of U.S. residents participated in secondary eating each hour in 2022. The top five concurrent activities during secondary eating included watching television and movies, paid work, socializing with others, playing games, and food and drink preparation. Examining the eating patterns of the U.S. population is key to better understanding the determinants of dietary intake and diet-related health status. This data and chart come from the USDA, Economic Research Service’s Eating and Health Module (ATUS) data product, which is part of the nationally representative American Time Use Survey.

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