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Americans Get 11.3% of their Calories from Fast Food

Rich or poor, male or female, we all enjoy pizza and burgers.

The CDC has released results from a study of fast food habits between 2007-2010 and found that American adults get 11.3% of their calories from fast food. This is actually a decrease from the 13% of calories consumed at fast food joints during the previous period of analysis in 2003–2006.

Here are the reports’ key findings:

  • During 2007–2010, adults consumed, on average, 11.3% of their total daily calories from fast food.
  • The consumption of calories from fast food significantly decreased with age.
  • Non-Hispanic black adults consumed a higher percentage of calories from fast food compared with non-Hispanic white and Hispanic adults.
  • No difference was observed by income status in the percentage of calories consumed from fast food among all adults. Among young adults, however, as income increased, the percentage of calories from fast food decreased.
  • The percentage of total daily calories from fast food increased as weight status increased.

What percentage of calories consumed by adults comes from fast food?

Figure 1 is a bar chart showing the percentage of calories from fast food among adults by sex and age from 2007 through 2010.

Significant linear trend by age.
NOTE: Total estimates are age adjusted to the 2000 projected U.S. standard population using three age groups: 20–39, 40–59, and 60 and over.
SOURCE: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2007–2010.

Does the percentage of calories consumed from fast food differ by race and ethnicity?

Statistically different from non-Hispanic white and Hispanic adults (p < 0.05).
Statistically different from non-Hispanic white adults (p < 0.05).
NOTE: Total estimates are age adjusted to the 2000 projected U.S. standard population using three age groups: 20–39, 40–59, and 60 and over.
SOURCE: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2007–2010.

Does the percentage of calories consumed from fast food differ by income?

Figure 3 is a bar chart showing the percentage of calories from fast food among adults by age and income from 2007 through 2010.

Significant decreasing linear trend (p < 0.05).
NOTE: Total estimates are age adjusted to the 2000 projected U.S. standard population using three age groups: 20–39, 40–59, and 60 and over.
SOURCE: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2007–2010.

Does the percentage of calories consumed from fast food differ by weight status?

Figure 4 is a bar chart showing the percentage of calories from fast food among adults by age and weight status from 2007 through 2010.

Significant increasing linear trend  (p < 0.05).
NOTES: Underweight/Normal weight is body mass index (BMI) less than 25.0; overweight is BMI of 25.0–29.9; and obese is BMI greater than or equal to 30.0. Total estimates are age adjusted to the 2000 projected U.S. standard population using three age groups: 20–39, 40–59, and 60 and over.
SOURCE: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2007–2010.