Objectives: To determine if macronutrient consumption for the U.S. population is greater on weekend days than weekdays.
Research Methods and Procedures: The nationally representative 1994 to 1996 Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals was used for this analysis. Dietary intake was assessed using two independent days of dietary recall data. Ordinary least squares multivariate analysis was used to analyze dietary outcome variables to explore the effect of weekend day vs. weekday intake.
Results: This study's results indicate that statistically significant dietary intake differences occur for different days of the week but not for all age groups—nor for all nutrients. The average American, 2 years and older, consumes 82 kcal more per day on each weekend day (Friday through Sunday) than they do on weekdays (Monday through Thursday). These overall increases in dietary intake are significant for the overall sample and are largest for the 19- to 50-year-old age group; among this age group, the weekend day increase (vs. weekday) is 115 kcal/d. The increased proportions of energy from fat and alcohol consumed on weekends are greater for this adult age group by 0.7% and 1.4%, respectively, whereas the proportion of energy from carbohydrate decreases 1.6%.
Discussion: The effects of weekend days on nutrient intake are substantial and should be considered in future clinical and population-based interventions and in dietary monitoring and research in the U.S.