Health

CDC: 1 in 3 US adults eats fast food on any given day

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Approximately 36% of all U.S. adults ate fast food on any given day during 2013 to 2016, according to data just released from the CDC.

“We focused on fast food for this report because fast food has played an important role in the American diet in recent decades. Fast food has been associated with poor diet and increased risk of obesity,” Cheryl Fryar, MSPH, a health statistician with the National Center for Health Statistics told Healio Family Medicine.

Fryar and colleagues analyzed National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data during 2013 to 2016 and found that on any given day, among adults, fast food was consumed by:

  • 36.6% of all adults;
  • 42.4% of non-Hispanic blacks, 37.6% of non-Hispanic whites, 35.5% of Hispanics, and 30.6% of non-Hispanic Asians;
  • 44.9% of those aged 20 to 39 years, 37.7% of those aged 40 to 59 years and 24.1% of those aged 60 and older; and
  • 31.7% of those considered low-income, 36.4% of those considered middle-income and 42% of those considered higher-income.

“Results from this study were similar to what we found for youth in 2011 to 2012, where 34% of youth consumed fast food,” Fryar noted.

Approximately 36% of all U.S. adults ate fast food on any given day during 2013 to 2016, according to data just released from the CDC.

Photo Source: Shutterstock

The CDC report on adult eating habits comes in the wake of other studies that linked fast food consumption to asthma and eczema, delayed time to pregnancy and an increased risk for infertility, as well as risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

How to help patients eat healthier

A recent article in Family Practice Management — a peer-reviewed journal of the American Academy of Family Physicians — discussed how to help patients change unhealthy behaviors.

Stephanie A. Hooker, PhD, MPH, a clinical psychology postdoctoral fellow in the department of family medicine and community health at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and colleagues suggested tools that family physicians can recommend to help their patients eat more healthy foods:

  • Small changes: “Have patients choose small, attainable goals to change their diets, such as … reducing the frequency of desserts or soda intake or increasing daily fruit and vegetable consumption.”
  • Plate method: “Encourage patients to design their plates to include 50% fruits and vegetables, 25% lean protein, and 25% grains or starches.”
Fast food

A recent article in Family Practice Management — a peer-reviewed journal of the American Academy of Family Physicians — discussed how to help patients change unhealthy behaviors.

Photo Source: Adobe

The article also suggested that goals towards improving eating habits (or any unhealthy behaviors) utilize the SMART method, in that they are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely. – by Janel Miller

References:

Fryar CD, et al. National Center for Health Statistics Data Brief, No. 322, October 2018. “Fast Food Consumption Among Adults in the United States, 2013-2016.”

Hooker SA, et al. Fam Pract Manag. 2018 Mar/Apr;25(2):31-36. “Encouraging Health Behavior Change: Eight Evidence-Based Strategies.”

Disclosures:

Healio Family Medicine was unable to determine the authors’ relevant financial disclosures prior to publication

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