One third of U.S. consumers ate fast food on a given day from 2013 to 2016, according to a study from CDC. The study found older consumers were less likely to eat fast food than younger demographics, higher-income families ate fast food more often than lower-income families, and black consumers ate it more than any other racial or ethnic group.
Among younger adults ages 20 to 39, 44.9% ate fast food, compared to 37.7% of middle-aged adults ages 40 to 59, and 24.1% of older adults ages 60 and over. This pattern by age was observed for both men and women.
Fast food consumption was higher among non-Hispanic black adults, at 42.4%, than non-Hispanic white, 37.6%; non-Hispanic Asian, 30.6%; and Hispanic adults, 35.5%. Among men, the percentage who consumed fast food was higher among non-Hispanic black adults, at 41.8%, compared with non-Hispanic Asian, 31.1%; and Hispanic adults, 35.2%. Additionally, fast food consumption was higher among non-Hispanic white men, at 39%, compared with non-Hispanic Asian men, at 31.1%. Among women, 42.9% of non-Hispanic black adults consumed fast food, which was higher than non-Hispanic white, 36.3%; Hispanic, 35.8%; and non-Hispanic Asian adults, 30.4%. There were no significant differences between men and women of the same race and Hispanic-origin group in the percentage who consumed fast food.
In terms of how family income level related to fast food consumption, 31.7% of lower-income, 36.4% of middle-income, and 42% of higher-income adults consumed fast food on a given day. A similar pattern was observed for both men and women. Within each income level, there was no significant difference in the percentage between men and women who consumed fast food.
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Chris is a business writer and market analyst that focuses on the Markets, Legal and Washington sections of the Food Institute Report. In addition, he assists in compiling data for various Food Institute publications throughout the year. He invites you to contact him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to talk about anything food-related.
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