Eating and Health Module (ATUS)
Individual decisions about how to use the 24 hours in a day have short- and long-term implications for income and earnings, health, and other aspects of well-being. Understanding time use patterns can provide insight into economic behaviors associated with eating patterns as well as the diet and health status of individuals. See Quick Facts. Knowing more about eating patterns, grocery shopping, and meal preparation, as well as understanding whether participants in food and nutrition assistance programs face different time constraints than nonparticipants can inform the design of food assistance and nutrition policies and programs.
USDA’s Economic Research Service, along with its funding and technical assistance cosponsors—the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI)—worked with the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Census Bureau to collect data for the 2014-16 Eating & Health Module (EH Module), a supplement to the American Time Use Survey (ATUS). The 2014-16 EH Module asks ATUS respondents about secondary eating—that is, eating while doing another activity; soft drink consumption; grocery shopping preferences and fast food purchases; meal preparation and food safety practices; food assistance participation; general health, height and weight, and exercise; and income.
ERS's 2006-08 EH Module produced statistics on time spent in eating and drinking activities, grocery shopping, and meal preparation for the population age 15 and older and for participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Data were also presented on measures of the health status (such as Body Mass Index, or BMI) of the population by time spent in various activities. See: Eating and Health Module User's Guide (2010 Edition) and Documentation: 2006-08.