Fast-Food Calorie Consumption Declines in U.S.: CDC

For 20-39 group, percentage of calories consumed decreased significantly with increasing income

Published in CSP Daily News

ATLANTA -- From 2007 to 2010, American adults consumed an average 11.3% of their total daily calories from fast food, a decrease from 12.8% for 2003 to 2006, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta said in a just-issued report, Caloric Intake From Fast Food Among Adults: United States, 2007–2010.

The percentage of calories consumed from fast food did not differ significantly between men (11.8%) and women (10.9%). The percentage of calories consumed from fast food decreased with age, with adults aged 60 and over (6.0%) consuming the lowest percentage of their daily calories from fast foods. This decrease with age was found among both men and women.

The found no significant differences between non-Hispanic white and Hispanic adults in the percentage of calories consumed from fast food. The lack of difference, in the percentage of calories consumed from fast food, between non-Hispanic white and Hispanic adults was observed among all age groups; however, among adults aged 20 and over, consumption of calories from fast food was higher among non-Hispanic black adults than non-Hispanic white and Hispanic adults. It found this disparity for young adults aged 20 to 39, where non-Hispanic black adults consumed more than one-fifth of their percentage of calories from fast food.

Among middle-aged adults in the 40 to 59 age group, the pattern was similar, but the difference between non-Hispanic black and Hispanic persons did not reach statistical significance. No race or ethnic differences were found among adults aged 60 and over.

Overall, it observed no difference by income status in the percentage of calories consumed from fast food; however, in the youngest age group, 20 to 39, the percentage of calories consumed from fast food significantly decreased with increasing income level.

Among adults, the percentage of calories consumed from fast food varied by weight status. The percentage of total daily calories from fast food increased as weight status increased. For each age group, obese adults consumed the highest percentage of their calories from fast food.

The researchers asked participants to identify where they got food within the past 24 hours, and they considered places identified as "restaurant fast food/pizza" as fast food. The report does not disclose names or specific food items.