Fast-food fanciers consume more calories

A survey of more than 9,000 consumers nationwide has shown that the about 25 percent of us who eat fast foods and drink sugary, carbonated soft drinks generally consume more calories, fats, carbohydrates, added sugars, and proteins than those who don't. For the study, foods obtained from pizza and fast food places were collectively defined as "fast food." The survey was conducted on behalf of USDA's Agricultural Research Service's Community Nutrition Research Group.

Respondents were queried on two nonconsecutive days. Those who consumed fast food on either or both days showed higher mean body mass indexes and had higher odds of being overweight than those who didn't. Longer work weeks and a doubling of the number of U.S. fast food restaurants were two reasons suggested for why more people are preparing less food at home. Researchers concluded that planning grocery shopping and weekly meals would help adults resist the fast-food decisions that appear to contribute to weight gain.

For more information, contact Shanthy A. Bowman, USDA-ARS Community Nutrition Research Group, Beltsville, Md.; phone (301) 504-0619.

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