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ARS Home » Plains Area » Grand Forks, North Dakota » Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center » Healthy Body Weight Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #337702

Research Project: Dietary Guidelines Adherence and Healthy Body Weight Maintenance

Location: Healthy Body Weight Research

Title: Time trends and patterns of reported egg consumption in the U.S. by sociodemographic characteristics

item Conrad, Zachary
item JOHNSON, LUANN - University Of North Dakota
item Roemmich, James
item JAUN, WENYEN - Food And Drug Administration(FDA)
item Jahns, Lisa

Submitted to: Nutrients
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/22/2017
Publication Date: 3/28/2017
Publication URL:
Citation: Conrad, Z.S., Johnson, L.K., Roemmich, J.N., Jaun, W., Jahns, L.A. 2017. Time trends and patterns of reported egg consumption in the U.S. by sociodemographic characteristics. Nutrients. 9(4):333.

Interpretive Summary: Eggs are rich in many important nutrients and are less expensive than many other high quality foods. However, little is known about whether egg consumption has changed over time or whether egg consumption differs by sociodemographic group: age, gender, race/ethnicity, education, income, food security, or participation in federal food assistance programs. To address this, we acquired data on egg consumption from nearly 30,000 adults from a national survey conducted from 2001-2012. First, we found that the proportion of the US population who consumed eggs did not change from 2001-2012, overall or by among any sociodemographic group. Second, we found that the amount of eggs increased modestly overall, but not among food insecure individuals and those who participated in federal food assistance programs. Given the nutritional benefits of eggs, as well as their low cost, more individuals may consider increasing egg consumption as part of an overall healthy diet pattern. More research is needed to understand how egg consumption influences nutrient intake.

Technical Abstract: Eggs have the potential to contribute essential nutrients to nutritionally vulnerable populations on limited food budgets. Further research is needed to better understand patterns of egg consumption across diverse sociodemographic groups in order to inform clinical practice and industry decision-making. Data on demographics and egg intake of 29,694 US adults were obtained from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2001-2012. The National Cancer Institute’s usual intake methodology was used to estimate the distribution of egg intake. Linear and logistic regression models were used to test for time trends in egg consumption and for differences between sociodemographic groups. The proportion of the U.S. population, overall and by sociodemographic group, that reported consuming eggs remained unchanged from 2001-2012. Mean egg consumption increased overall but not among food insecure individuals and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants. No differences in the odds of egg consumption were observed by income level, food security status, or SNAP participation status. Given the nutritional benefits of eggs, as well as their low cost and culinary versatility, the results presented here have important implications for reducing disparities in health outcomes and diet quality; in particular among food insecure individuals and SNAP participants. Further research is needed to examine factors that influence egg consumption and associated nutrient intake; and to identify potential barriers to increasing egg consumption, such as egg price changes, across diverse sociodemographic groups.