Americans Eating Less Fast Food, Staying Home

A new CDC study shows fast food continues to decline as a percent of American diets. Fast food represented 11% of daily caloric intake in 2010, the year the most recent data covers, down significantly versus the almost 13% it represented in 2006.  Fast food includes hamburgers, pizza, french fries, and tacos — food that can be purchased quickly and is available for takeout at neighborhood restaurants.

Fast food’s popularity may be down because of the economy. According to Harry Balzer of the market research firm, NPD, this drop “is mostly due to money because we never let our overall food costs rise faster than our incomes, and our incomes have been under pressure, so we ate more meals at home. The actual cost of a restaurant meal is three times the cost of an in-home meal.”

How much fast food you consume depends on your gender, as well as your age. As a percent of total daily intake men consume 11.8% vs 10.9% for women. Fast food consumption declines with age, making up only 6% of total daily calories of people 60 and older vs 10.5% for people 40-59 and 15.3% for people 20-39. It also declines with weight, making up only 9.6% of total daily calories for people of a normal weight vs 11% for people 1-34 pounds over a normal weight and 13% for people 35 pounds or more over a normal weight.

Click here to read more in USA Today and here to read the study from CDC.

Oldest Operating McDonalds, image © Bryan Hong / Wikimedia

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