Fast food: It’s what’s for dinner. And lunch. And breakfast

More than one-third of adults in the United States patronize fast-food restaurants and pizza parlors on any given day. And the higher their income, the more likely they are to do so.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released data on fast-food consumption gathered from 2013 to 2016 in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, a program that continuously monitors the health and nutritional status of Americans.

Fast food — defined broadly in the survey as any item obtained from a “fast food/pizza” establishment — is eaten by 37 percent of American adults at some point during the day.


Among those who eat fast food, 44 percent do so at lunch and 42 percent at dinner. Men are more likely to grab fast food at lunch; women are more likely to snack on it.

The percentage of adults who ate fast food rose with increasing income. About 32 percent of people who earn less than 130 percent of the federal poverty line — $32,630 a year for a family of four — ate fast food daily. But 42 percent of people above 350 percent of the poverty line — $112,950 a year or more for that size family — were daily consumers.

A 2013 report by the CDC estimated that US adults consume more than 11 percent of their daily calories from fast food.

New York Times