Topical Area: Community and Public Health Nutrition
Objectives : The objective of our study is to inform nutrition monitoring and education efforts to boost seafood consumption in the United States by describing patterns of fried fish intake, both at home (FAH) and away from home (FAFH) among the U.S. population.
Methods : We used 24-hr dietary recall data from the What We Eat in America (WWEIA) survey, the dietary intake component of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), combined for 2005-14. We describe mean protein-ounce equivalents for fried fish (fish sticks, fish sandwiches and patties, and battered, breaded, coated fried seafood) at home and at restaurants, fast food places, schools and other away from home places.
Results : Fried seafood accounted for 1 in 5 seafood meals and 30 percent of total seafood calories in the United States in 2005-14. Fried types accounted for twice the share of FAFH seafood meals and 40 percent more seafood calories as FAH seafood. Among FAFH places, fried seafood had the highest share of total seafood meals and calories at schools (68 and 65 percent) followed by fast food places (38 and 46 percent).
Fried seafood was more likely to be of inferior nutrition compared to non-fried seafood. For example, fried seafood accounted for more than one third of the solid fats from seafood meals and contained the most refined grains per 100 grams (1.27 FPEs for fish sticks, patties, and nuggets and 0.66 FPEs per 100 grams for other fried fish).
Conclusions : Our analysis shows that fried seafood is consumed more often at FAFH places, especially schools, and is a notable source of some food components, such as solid fats and refined grains, that are discouraged by the Dietary Guidelines Healthy Eating Patterns. Nutrition educators, school meal personnel, and policymakers may use these results as they develop strategies to increase Americans’ seafood intake.
Funding Sources : None