Medical

About 37 Percent Of Americans Eat Fast Food Every Day

About 37 Percent Of Americans Eat Fast Food Every Day

More than a third of American adults-36.6%, to be exact-admitted to eating fast food on a given day between 2013 and 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed in a new study published this week.

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).

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. That's about 85 million people.

Adults aged between 20 and 39 were the most likely group to consume fast food, with nearly half (45 percent) admitting they eat junk food.

A person's income also played a key role in how often they ate fast food. Released Wednesday, the report compares the percentage of fast-food eating adults for demographic characteristics such as age, race and income level between the years 2013 and 2016. The researchers found that men eat more fast food than women.

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'.

"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.




Liz Weinandy, a registered dietitian at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, conceded that it's unsurprising that younger people eat the most fast food, but she said the rates are very concerning.

The data show that the popularity of fast food varies by racial and ethnic group. "Consumers can find nutritional information on calories on the menu in most fast food establishments and restaurants". For non-Hispanic white adults, 37.6 percent consumed fast food on a given day, while 35.5 percent of Hispanic adults and 30.6 percent of non-Hispanic Asian adults did.

Among those who had eaten fast food, 43.7% did so during lunch, 42% during dinner, 22.7% during breakfast and 22.6% as snacks, according to the report.

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. However, more women (25.7%) than men (19.5%) said they had it as a snack.

They also reported that as American adults aged, the percentage of daily fast food consumption lessened. Among all adults, a higher percentage of men (37.9%) than women (35.4%) said they ate fast food on a given day.

Still, the CDC said that fast food's ubiquity and price can make it an attractive option for some people.

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