Away-from-home foods have been shown to have lower nutritional quality and larger portion sizes than many foods prepared at home. We aimed to describe energy and nutrient intakes among 2–13-year-old Mexican children by eating location (at home and away from home), overall, by socio-economic status (SES) and by urbanicity.
Dietary intake was collected via one 24 h recall in the 2012 Mexican National Health and Nutrition Survey (ENSANUT). Location was reported for each food consumed. Results were adjusted for sex, day of recall, region, weight status, SES and urbanicity.
Mexico (nationally representative).
Children aged 2–5 years (n 1905) and 6–13 years (n 2868).
Children consumed the majority of daily energy at home (89% of 2–5-year-olds; 82 % of 6–13-year-olds). The most common away-from-home eating location was school (22 % of 2–5-year-olds; 43 % of 6–13-year-olds), followed by the street (14 % of 2–5-year-olds; 13 % of 6–13-year-olds). The most common foods consumed away from home were wheat/rice and corn mixed dishes, sugar-sweetened beverages, pastries/candy/desserts, milk (2–5-year-olds only) and salty snacks (6–13-year-olds). Multivariate models showed that high-SES 2–5-year-olds consumed 14 % of daily energy away from home v. 8 % among low-SES 2–5-year-olds, and high-SES 6–13-year-olds consumed 21 % of daily energy away from home v. 14 % among low-SES 6–13 year-olds. There were no differences by urban residence.
Among Mexican children, most foods and beverages were consumed at home. However, the percentage of foods consumed or purchased away from home increased with age and with SES.