More surprisingly, the study debunked the idea that fast food is generally eaten by people from lower economic and social backgrounds.
Between 2013 and 2016, about 37% of U.S. adults consumed fast food on any given day, according to the data brief published Wednesday by the National Center for Health Statistics. That includes 37.9 percent of men and 35.4 percent of women, according to a report published Wednesday by the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics.
Americans tend to turn to take out the most for lunch with men more likely to do so than women.
The mainstays of take-outs - processed meat, sweetened bread, fried food and fatty sauces - are linked to chronic health conditions such as diabetes and heart failure, the number one killer in the world.
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.
Blacks were more likely to have eaten fast food on a given day than whites (roughly 42 percent vs. 38 percent, respectively), while 35.5 percent of Hispanics and 31 percent of Asian-Americans did so. Almost 45% of those between the ages of 20 and 39 eat fast food each day, but just 24.1% of those aged 60 and over do the same.
On average, adults in the USA consumed 11.3% of their total daily calories from fast food between 2007 and 2010, according to a National Center for Health Statistics data brief published in 2013. Only 24.1 percent of adults aged 60 and older consumed fast food, while 37.7 percent of adults ages 40 to 59 and 44.9 percent of adults aged 20 to 39 did.
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Among those who had eaten fast food, 43.7% did so during lunch, 42% during dinner, 22.7% during breakfast and 22.6% as snacks, according to the report.
The CDC noted in its statement that fast food has been associated with a variety of problems, including elevated caloric intake and poor diet quality.
They also reported that as American adults aged, the percentage of daily fast food consumption lessened.
Weinandy said while it's not realistic to tell people not to eat fast food, she would like to see healthier options. 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.
"We know for children, on days that they consume fast food, they eat about 120 more calories that day". But "what we should be scared of is double cheeseburgers, french fries and large amounts of sugary beverages".
She adds that it's also up to primary care physicians to talk their patients about the dangers of eating too much fast food.