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Food-Related Activities Rank 4th in Time Use

Friday, May 1, 2020

From Cheryl Russell, Demo Memo

How much of your day revolves around food? If you’re an average American, then it’s a lot. Food-related activities rank fourth in the amount of time they consume, according to a study by the USDA's Economic Research Service, behind only sleep, paid work, and watching TV.
 
Americans spent an average of 117.5 minutes a day in food-related activities during the 2014–17 time period, the study finds. That's 8.2% of 24 hours. Food-related activities include traveling to grocery stores and restaurants, shopping for food, preparing meals, eating and drinking, and loading the dishwasher. Here's how much time the average person and the average participant spend per day in each of the major categories of food-related activities...

Eating and drinking
Average time: 64.0 minutes
Percent participating: 95.1%
Time spent by participants: 67.3 minutes

Food preparation
Average time: 27.5 minutes
Percent participating: 53.5%
Time spent by participants: 51.4 minutes

Food-related cleanup
Average time: 7.7 minutes
Percent participating: 22.6%
Time spent by participants: 34.1 minutes

Travel associated with eating
Average time: 6.5 minutes
Percent participating: 22.9%
Time spent by participants: 28.3 minutes

Grocery shopping
Average time: 6.3 minutes
Percent participating: 13.8%
Time spent by participants: 46.0 minutes

Travel for grocery shopping
Average time: 3.3 minutes
Percent participating: 13.7%
Time spent by participants: 24.4 minutes

Purchasing non-grocery food
Average time: 1.5 minutes
Percent participating: 13.5%
Time spent by participants: 10.9 minutes
 
Source: USDA Economic Research Service, Food-Related Time Use: Changes and Demographic Differences

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