Fast Food Accounts for 11% of America’s Calorie Intake

Cheeseburger Mosaic


The CDC, our government’s statistics lab, has published a report on fast food calories in America. The study covers the years 2007-2010. Here are some numbers that explain why McDonald’s stock has ballooned alongside our waistlines:

  • During 2007–2010, adults consumed, on average, 11.3% of their total daily calories from fast food.
  • The consumption of calories from fast food significantly decreased with age – 15% for adults aged 20-39, but only 6% in those over 60 years old.
  • In the 20-39 age group, income is a good indicator of junk food consumption. Richer folks eat less junk food.
  • Non-Hispanic black adults consumed a higher percentage of calories from fast food compared with non-Hispanic white and Hispanic adults.
  • There is a direct correlation between weight and junk food calories. Obese people consumed 13% of calories from fast food. Normal weight people consumed less than 10%.

Please keep in mind, that this study only covers fast food. Junk food would probably double the number.

The silver lining – numbers are down from 13% in 2006. We still have our work cut out for us…


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  • Carol H.

    Cool image! Almost makes a burger look attractive.

    The stats are not surprising, since cheap, easily-available food is easier for people with limited resources and time to purchase. Then there’s the effect of a lack of education about healthier lifestyle (and environmental factors in general). It would be interesting to see figures for how much of daily sodium comes from fast food (where one burger can supply your daily recommended max… especially if it comes with cheese, bacon and pickles).