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More than 1 in 3 Americans eat fast food on a given day, says CDC study

Illustration for article titled More than 1 in 3 Americans eat fast food on a given day, says em/emCDC study
Photo: Wojciech Kozielczyk (iStock)

If you looked at health trends, like more restaurants offering vegan options and fasting diets and an increase in hot yoga classes, this latest study from the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention may come as a bit of a surprise. Time reports that according to the study, despite the popularity of the wellness industry, in actual day-to-day habits, some Americans are less than healthful: “Between 2013 and 2016, 36.6 percent of American adults said they ate fast food in the past 24 hours.” Unsurprisingly, young people eat more fast food than older generations; the number of people who say they ate fast food during the past day breaks down like so:

  • 45 percent of people 20 to 39
  • 38 percent of people aged 40 to 59
  • 24 percent of people older than 60.

More surprising is the fact that people at higher-income levels eat more fast food than you might expect, more so than some lower levels: “42 percent of higher-income adults… ate fast food on a given day, compared to nearly 32 percent of those whose families earned 130 percent of the federal poverty level or less.”

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At any rate, it seems like what Americans aim to be eating healthwise and what they’re actually eating may not be aligned. Which makes it fortunate that some chains are aiming to offer healthier selections, since it looks like everyone’s just going to be eating there anyway.

Gwen Ihnat is the Editorial Coordinator for The A.V. Club.

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DISCUSSION

anotherburnerbecausewhynot

More surprising is the fact that people at higher-income levels eat more fast food than you might expect, more so than some lower levels: “42 percent of higher-income adults… ate fast food on a given day, compared to nearly 32 percent of those whose families earned 130 percent of the federal poverty level or less.”

Not a surprise. It is way more expensive to eat fast food regularly than to cook for yourself. They don’t bat an eye at a $9 meal at some fast food place, while the poor folks see $9 and will get enough to make 3+ meals for the price.

And those eating fast food and are poor are Dollar Menunaires. I was there myself once, so I know that $3 for two burgers and some nugs for one of my two meals that day was doable in my rush between jobs vs cooking. And I didn’t even have kids, who I am sure increase this because they have tiny stomachs and $1 menu food goes far with them (and it is usually no frills, which kids seem to prefer).