About 37 Percent Of Americans Eat Fast Food Every Day

About 37 Percent Of Americans Eat Fast Food Every Day

Pick a day at random, and you can bet that almost 40% of Americans will eat fast food during those 24 hours, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). "They also consume more sugar and sodium and fat on the days they eat fast food", she said.

The conventional wisdom about fast food is that people eat it when they can't afford something better, due to a lack of money or a lack of time.

The study suggested that fast food consumption tends to dwindle with age, as that number fell to under 38 percent for those in their 40s and 50s. Among middle-income families (whose income was between 130 percent and 350 percent of the poverty line), 36.4 percent ate fast food on a typical day.

All that adds up to widening waistlines and hardening arteries, one nutritionist warned. Only 24.1 percent of adults aged 60 and older consumed fast food, while 37.7 percent of adults ages 40 to 59 and 44.9 percent of adults aged 20 to 39 did.

"The more of it we eat, the more likely we are to be overweight or obese and have increased risk for several diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and metabolic syndrome when talking to patients", she said. "However, what we should be scared of is double cheeseburgers, French fries and large amounts of sugary beverages", Weinandy said.

That works out to approximately 84.8 million adults, according to Cheryl Fryar, lead author of the report and a health statistician at the CDC. It's based on a survey of about 10,000 adults over four years.

The report has some limitations, including that the subjects' dietary information was obtained through in-person interviews during which the adults recalled what they had eaten in the past 24 hours.

The researchers found that 31.7 percent lower-income adults, 36.4 percent of middle-income adults and 42.0 percent of higher-income adults consume alcohol on a given day, showing how the percentage of people who are eating fast food increases as income level does.

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When comparing race, the highest percentage of consuming fast food was among non-Hispanic black adults at 42.4 percent. The team also noticed a difference between men and women: 37.9 percent of men consumed fast food but only 35.4 percent of women did.

Men are more likely to eat fast food at lunch, according to the CDC, but women tend to eat fast food as a snack more often than men.

Melanie Boehmer is a registered dietitian at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

More than a third of the United States population eats fast food every day, a new report warns.

"If we can offer healthier options that are just as convenient and just as affordable and just as delicious, then it's a win for everybody", Boehmer said.

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

The new report was published October 3 as an National Center for Health Statistics Data Brief.

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