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Time Trends and Patterns of Reported Egg Consumption in the U.S. by Sociodemographic Characteristics

Zach Conrad, LuAnn K. Johnson, James N. Roemmich, WenYen Juan, Lisa Jahns
Nutrients 2017 v.9 no.4 pp. -
National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, adults, at-risk population, demographic statistics, eggs, food consumption, food security, income, nutrient intake, nutrients, nutritional adequacy, nutritive value, prices, regression analysis, sociodemographic characteristics, United States
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 to improve nutrient adequacy. Data on demographics and egg intake of 29,694 U.S. 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 (21%–22%; p = 0.311) and by sociodemographic group (p > 0.05 for all groups), that reported consuming eggs remained unchanged from 2001 to 2012. Mean egg consumption increased overall from 23.0 (95% CI, 20.8–25.2) g/day in 2001–2002 to 25.5 (22.7–28.4) g/day in 2011–2012 (p = 0.012), but not among food insecure individuals (p = 0.816) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants (p = 0.399). No differences in the odds of egg consumption were observed by income level, food security status, or SNAP participation status (p > 0.05 for all groups). 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.