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Study Reveals Fast Dining Diets

posted on March 1, 2013

The Centers for Disease Control reports that obesity rates have risen dramatically over the past 20 years.

According to the CDC, one-third of U.S. adults and more than 15 percent of young people between the ages of 2 and 19 are obese.

The CDC reports that annual medical costs for obese people are more than $1,400 higher than those of normal weight people.

And late last month the agency sounded the alarm on what it believes accounts for a significant portion of America’s diet…

Study Reveals Fast Dining Diets

A new government study says on an average day, U.S. adults get roughly 11 percent of their calories from fast food.

That's down two percent percentage points from the last time the Centers for Disease Control measured America’s caloric intake.

But consuming too many fast food calories is seen as a major cause of America's obesity epidemic.

Mike Stobbe, Associated Press Medical Writer: "You see a lot of studies that try to count how many calories people eat and talk about the obesity problem, but this is a study that gives us an idea of what proportion of the calories we're eating come from fast food. Fast food generally is considered a bad thing. It's identified as a contributor to obesity. So this study tells us that about 11 percent of the calories that the average American adult consumes come from fast food. The good news is that that's down a little bit from a similar study was done several years ago. It was around 13 percent."

The research indicated young adults consume more than twice as much fast food as their elders, and African Americans eat more fast food than whites or Hispanics.

The authors couldn't explain why the proportion of calories from fast food dropped from the 13 percent found in a survey for 2003 through 2006.

One nutrition professor cast doubt on the latest results, saying 11 percent seemed implausibly low.

The study didn't include the total number of fast-food calories, just the percentage.

The CDC report found that obese people get about 13 percent of daily calories from fast food, compared with less than 10 percent for thinner people.

Mike Stobbe, Associated Press Medical Writer: "Some other interesting things in this study are that there was not a difference by income. Some people assume that more wealthy people might eat salads and finer foods a little bit more often than low-income people, but that didn't turn out to be the case."

In one socio-economic group, however, differences were noted according to income. The poorest of young adults -- those with an annual household income of less than $30,000 -- got 17 percent of their calories from fast food, while the figure was under 14 percent for the most affluent 20- and 30-somethings with a household income of more than $50,000.

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