NCHS Data Brief No. 322, October 2018
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Cheryl D. Fryar, M.S.P.H., Jeffery P. Hughes, M.P.H., Kirsten A. Herrick, Ph.D., MSc., and Namanjeet Ahluwalia, Ph.D.
Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey
- During 2013–2016, 36.6% of adults consumed fast food on a given day.
- The percentage of adults who consumed fast food decreased with age: 44.9% aged 20–39, 37.7% aged 40–59, and 24.1% aged 60 and over.
- A higher percentage of non-Hispanic black adults consumed fast food than non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic Asian, and Hispanic adults.
- The percentage of adults who consumed fast food increased with increasing family income.
- Among those who consumed fast food, men were more likely than women to eat fast food at lunch, but women were more likely to report eating fast food as a snack.
Fast food is a part of the American diet and has been associated with high caloric intake (1), and poor diet quality (2). Time, financial resources, price, and availability influence fast food consumption (3). This report presents data on the percentage of adults who consumed fast food on a given day in the United States during 2013–2016.
Keywords: diet, restaurant, pizza, NHANES
What percentage of adults consumed fast food on a given day, and did consumption differ by sex and age for 2013–2016?
In 2013–2016, 36.6% of adults consumed fast food on a given day (Figure 1). The percentage of adults who consumed fast food decreased with age: 44.9% among younger adults aged 20–39, 37.7% among middle-aged adults aged 40–59, and 24.1% among older adults aged 60 and over. This pattern by age was observed for both men and women. Among all adults, a higher percentage of men (37.9%) than women (35.4%) consumed fast foods.
1Men significantly different from women.
2Significant decreasing linear trend with age.
NOTES: Age-adjusted estimates for 20 and over were 37.4% total; 38.4% men; and 36.5% women. Age adjusted by the direct method to the 2000 projected U.S. population using age groups 20–39, 40–59, and 60 and over. Access data table for Figure 1.
SOURCE: NCHS, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2013–2016.