Published: Fri, October 05, 2018
Medical | By Vicki Mclaughlin

1 in 3 USA adults eat fast food each day

1 in 3 USA adults eat fast food each day

One in every three adults in the United States, or about 37 percent, consume fast food on any given day, according to a new report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Americans can't get enough fast food, suggests a survey published Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Among those 60 and older, just 24 percent said they had eaten fast food in the last day. Among middle-income families (whose income was between 130% and 350% of the poverty line), 36.4% ate fast food on a typical day. More surprisingly, the study debunked the idea that fast food is generally eaten by people from lower economic and social backgrounds. Men tended to eat more fast food than women, Fryar's group said. Black men consumed the most fast food, with almost 42 percent stating that they had eaten fast food in the past 24 hours. The most common meal for fast food intake was lunch (43.7 percent), followed by dinner (42.0 percent), then breakfast (22.8 percent) and snacks (22.6 percent).

'We know that people who are overweight or obese are more likely to be eating fast foods, but people really listen to their doctors, ' Weinandy said.

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.

Though it does take two to conceive, and often to parent, women at least make more of an effort to cut out fast food. Among all adults, a higher percentage of men (37.9%) than women (35.4%) said they ate fast food on a given day.

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The report found that Americans tend to taper off fast foods as they age. The survey was conducted in 2016. "So those numbers are pretty comparable to about a third on any given day", Harris said.

Weinandy agreed that America has to wean itself off its fast food habit. "So all of those are driving purchases of fast food", Harris said. When asked by researchers, 37 percent of adults said they'd eaten fast food at least once over the past 24 hours.

"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.

Fast food restaurants have earned a reputation of serving meals and snacks both high in calories and lacking key elements such as fruits and vegetables. "However, what we should be scared of is double cheeseburgers, French fries and large amounts of sugary beverages", Weinandy said. "It takes time and some organization".

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