Published: Fri, October 05, 2018
Medical | By

1 in 3 U.S. adults eat fast food each day

1 in 3 U.S. adults eat fast food each day

A previous report estimated that adults consumed 11.3 per cent of their total daily calories from fast food.

Almost half of American men - 48.3 percent - eat fast food for lunch on any given day.

Perhaps surprisingly, the CDC found that fast food consumption grew with increasing family income. Her team tracked data from in-person government surveys conducted with thousands of USA adults between 2013 and 2016. The survey results suggest an answer: time.

After the age of 40, Americans' fast food consumption steadily declines, the study showed. But in the USA, it's something adults just can't seem to live without.

Most adults reported eating fast food at lunch and dinner, at 43.7 percent and 42 percent respectively. Men tended to eat more fast food than women, Fryar's group said.

"There is no reason to completely avoid fast food, but it shouldn't be consumed regularly", she said.

The study, by CDC's National Center for Health Statistics (you can read it in full here), found that nearly 40 per cent of Americans admit to eating fast food every day.

"These findings remind us that fast food companies have figured out a way to conveniently fit into our daily routine, despite their [products'] negative health implications", Boehmer said.

It was younger people, those aged 20 to 39, which was the demographic most likely to gobble a Whopper and fries. An earlier study found a similar proportion of children and adolescents ate it on any given day. That's significantly more than the 39.1 percent of women who do the same.

"When we see news clips of a shark swimming near a beach, it scares us into not going near that beach", Weinandy said.


Regarding the fact that those who came from higher-income households were 1.3 times more likely to eat fast food on a given day than people from lower-income homes, Weinandy said her guess is that higher-income people 'are eating out more in general across the board and fast food falls into that category'.

A 2011 study found that people who eat fast food and processed pastries are 51 percent more likely to develop depression, and a 2016 study found fast food contains phthalates, which could lead to reproductive issues such as birth defects.

Between 2013 and 2016, some 37 per cent of adults said they'd consumed fast food in the past 24 hours.

'Things like poultry, fish, even leaner cuts of red meat - also picking more water and staying away from sugar-sweetened beverages and diet soda, ' she said.

Weinandy agreed that America has to wean itself off its fast food habit.

Find out more about healthy eating at the American Heart Association.

Too often, though, Americans ignore the danger.

Cheskin, who is also director of the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center, emphasized that foods high in sugar and fat can raise the risk of certain chronic health problems.

'And from there, you're establishing good behavior for kids to follow'.

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