1 in 3 United States adults eat fast food each day

Ben Davidson
October 6, 2018

Of all respondents, 43.7 per cent said they bought fast food for lunch, it was 42 per cent for dinner, while 22.7 per cent opted for the breakfast menu. But in the USA, it's something adults just can't seem to live without.

New survey data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that 36.6 percent of us eat some kind of fast food on any given day. The CDC didn't say whether the consumption figure has risen or declined since 2016.

It's the first federal study to look at how often adults eat fast food.

Weinandy said while it's not realistic to tell people not to eat fast food, she would like to see healthier options.

The report - which drew its findings from information collected from 10,000 adults between 2013 and 2016 as part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey - found that fast food intake was higher among consumers in middle- and higher-income brackets.

The data revealed that fast food consumption varied by age, income level, race and sex. Among those 60 and older, just 24 percent said they had eaten fast food in the last day.

They also reported that as American adults aged, the percentage of daily fast food consumption lessened.

Blacks were more likely to have eaten fast food on a given day than whites (roughly 42 percent vs. 38 percent, respectively), while 35.5 percent of Hispanics and 31 percent of Asian-Americans did so. Among men and women who consumed fast food, a higher percentage of men ate it for lunch, while a higher percentage of women ate it as a snack.

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'Anecdotally, I know women are much more likely to pack their lunches and I see a lot of women eat salads because they're trying to watch their weight whereas men will eat a substantial meal where it's a burger or fries or whatever, ' said Weinandy. Black men consumed the most fast food, with almost 42 percent stating that they had eaten fast food in the past 24 hours.

'So by exposing their children to fast food early on, they're getting kids into unhealthy patterns from a young age, ' she said.

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

'Either through subsidies to farmers or taxes put on sugar-sweetened beverages and processed foods to decrease the abundance'.

"We do know that fast food advertising has gone up during that time by pretty large amounts".

She believes that policymakers, doctors and health food advocates need to "beat fast food companies at their own game" in order to turn things around.

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

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