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More than a third of American adults-36.6%, to be exact-admitted to eating fast food on a given day between 2013 and 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed in a new study published this week. The overall percentage of adults who consumed fast food decreased with age, increased with income, and was higher among non-Hispanic black persons compared with other race and Hispanic-origin groups.

Fast foods tend to be high in calories, fat, salt and sugar, which - when consumed in excess - can be associated with obesity, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes and heart disease, among other health risks. Non-Hispanic black adults ate more fast food in the study than non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic Asian, and Hispanic adults, according to the CDC.

The conventional wisdom about fast food is that people eat it when they can't afford something better, due to a lack of money or a lack of time. Among men and women who consumed fast food, a higher percentage of men ate it for lunch, while a higher percentage of women ate it as a snack.

The percentage of adults who said they consumed fast food rose with family income level, according to the report.

Regarding the fact that those who came from higher-income households were 1.3 times more likely to eat fast food on a given day than people from lower-income homes, Weinandy said her guess is that higher-income people 'are eating out more in general across the board and fast food falls into that category'.

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Fast food has been linked to many health issues beyond weight gain. People were asked to recall what they'd eaten in the past 24 hours.

Black men were the most avid consumers of fast food - nearly 42 percent had eaten the fare over the past day, the report found. The team also noticed a difference between men and women: 37.9 percent of men consumed fast food but only 35.4 percent of women did. Forty-five percent of adults ages 20 to 39 ate fast food, while only 24 percent of adults over 60 had fast food as a meal or snack.

'So by exposing their children to fast food early on, they're getting kids into unhealthy patterns from a young age, ' she said. But "what we should be scared of is double cheeseburgers, french fries and large amounts of sugary beverages".

"These findings remind us that fast food companies have figured out a way to conveniently fit into our daily routine, despite their [products'] negative health implications", Boehmer said. "Consumers can find nutritional information on calories on the menu in most fast food establishments and restaurants".

"When we see news clips of a shark swimming near a beach, it scares us into not going near that beach", Weinandy said.


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