Americans cut back on fast food, but why?
American adults got 11 percent of their daily calories from fast food in 2010, down from about 13 percent four years earlier, a new study shows. Public education may have played a role, but so have pocketbook issues.
American adults are consuming about 11 percent of their daily calories from fast food in 2010, down from almost 13 percent in 2006, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). While overall caloric intake has not changed for American adults, the drop in fast food consumption has coincided with a leveling of obesity rates among adults.
“The drop is significant, statistically,” says one of the study’s lead authors, Cheryl Fryar, a health statistician with the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the CDC. “Historically a lot of fast food has been high in fat, high in sodium … and frequent fast food consumption is linked to weight gain.”
A separate report from the CDC found more good news among youths: American children and adolescents consumed fewer calories in 2010 than they did a decade before, the first decline in caloric intake among children in more than 40 years.
Americans have long had a troubled relationship with diet and weight – two-thirds of American adults are considered overweight or obese, and about 17 percent of youths are considered obese – and the CDC’s reports offered hope to many in the nutrition and health fields.
“It’s a trend in the right direction,” says Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition, food studies, and public health at New York University. “That’s good news. This is a cause for mild celebration.”