A new study reveals that over one-third of Americans eat fast food every day, with richer Americans eating even more than that.
In case there was any doubt, this latest study confirms it: Americans love fast food. We love it so much that on any given day, at least one-third of the country will have at least one meal at a fast food restaurant.
The new study comes courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention using data gathered over three years from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Over 10,000 adults were surveyed from 2013 to 2016 on questions regarding socioeconomics, demographics, as well as nutrition and health.
And it’s not just self-reported either: a combination of one-on-one interviews and physicals exams are used to collect the data.
What the CDC found out was striking. About 37% of the country will eat fast food at least once on any given day. Of that 37%, most will do it for lunch (44%) while 42% will do it for dinner. The remaining 14% eat a quick breakfast.
This most likely showcases how Americans are more prone to eat out for lunch rather than bring a meal or cook one at home.
The survey also showed that men are more likely to eat fast food than women and that younger people are more likely to eat fast food than older generations. Of the younger age category for those aged 20-39, 45% eat fast food on the daily. That number decreases to 38% for those aged 40-59, and people 60+ only eat fast food on 24% of days.
Also, the richer you are, the more likely you are to eat out. Those near the poverty line ate fast food at a rate of 32%, while those making comfortably over six figures ate fast food on 42% of days.
The survey described fast food as “fast food/pizza” restaurants, so this includes pizza. The numbers might even be worse if a more strict definition was used.
Fast foods are typically high in fat and sodium while being low in actual nutrients, and are associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease and other poor health conditions.