Blacks are lining up in drive-thrus, eating at fast food restaurants, or adding pizza to their daily diet at a rate higher than any other ethnic group in the country, according to new information released by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), though overall adult fast food consumption is down.

In a study conducted between the years of 2007 and 2010, a little more than 11 percent of all food consumed by adults was from fast food, or quick service restaurants (QSRs).

That number was a decline from the 12.8 percent of adult diets made from the kitchens of McDonalds and Wendy’s from 2003 to 2006.

African Americans between the ages of 20 and 39 were shown to have the most fast food in their diet when compared with their Caucasian and Hispanic counterparts, as one-fifth of their calorie intake came from quick service restaurants.

“Fast food is quick and I don’t have time to cook with my lifestyle,” said Kelli Williams, a 24-year-old lab technician. “I’ve gained weight but I think it’s because I’ve been less active physically since I graduated,” she said, adding that her habit of eating fast food multiple times a week hasn’t changed.

“I don’t even like fast food that much but it’s convenient.”

The study showed that for Williams’ age group, 20-39, the presence of fast food in the diet decreased as take-home pay increased.

A separate CDC report on fast food and children ages 2 to 19 showed that the daily calorie intake average shrunk for young boys by 158 calories in the time between studies conducted from 1999 to 2000 and again from 2009 to 2010. Girls decreased their caloric intake by 76 calories.

Researchers also found that for heavier Americans, weight increased as the amount of food taken into the body from fast food restaurants increased.

“As lifestyles become more hectic, fast-food consumption has become a growing part of the American diet,” read information released by the CDC. “Fast food is food usually sold at eating establishments for quick availability or takeout. More than one-third of U.S. adults are obese, and frequent fast-food consumption has been shown to contribute to weight gain.”

The study showed that older adults aged 60 and over, ate at quick service restaurants less than younger Americans with only 6 percent of their diet coming from quick service restaurants. Men and women of that age group had no considerable difference in the amount of fast food they ate.

According to the National Center for Biotechnology, “findings suggest that higher rates of fast food consumption are connected to the increasing rates of severe obesity.”

The World Health Organization estimates that one in 10 humans are currently obese, opening themselves up to a host of diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.


Alexis Taylor

AFRO Staff Writer