Fast food is a bigger part of the American diet than you may think, and it puts both young and old Americans in greater danger of developing a wide range of health problems, some of which are potentially life-threatening.
How you fuel your body has an enormous impact on your overall health and wellness. And while some chains are slowly beginning to offer healthier options, eating out is typically not a healthy choice.
Percentage of children and adolescents consuming fast food on any given day.12
Researchers found kids and adolescents between the ages of 12 and 19 ate twice as many calories from fast food restaurants as children ages 2 to 11.13
Percentage of children who say McDonald’s is their favorite place to eat.14
11 out of 25 fast food chains failed after being graded on their use of antibiotics.15
The CDC estimates that at least 2 million Americans contract antibiotic-resistant infections every year and that 23,000 of those people will die as a result.16
In 2015, trans fats, which are used in fried foods, were recognized by the FDA to raise the level of cholesterol in blood, therefore increasing the risk of developing heart disease – one of the leading causes of death in the U.S.17
King of Added Sugar
Sugar in a Large Coca-Cola
A large Coca-Cola contains 86 grams of sugar.18
Recommended Daily Sugar Allowance
It is recommended that men consume a maximum of 38 grams of sugar while women should only consume 25 grams.
High Sugar Diet Tied to Heart Disease
Consuming high amounts of sugar alters fat metabolism.19
The Unhealthy Calories
Full Day’s Worth
One meal at a fast food restaurant contains all the calories you need for an entire day.20
It takes a 155-pound person 3 hours to burn 2,000 calories. A Big Mac, Large Fries and Large Coke equal just over 1,300 calories.21
On average, American consumers drink more than 38.5 gallons of carbonated soft drinks each year.22
Fast Food: High in Saturated Fats Not Enough Fiber
That includes sides and drinks. When your digestive system breaks down these foods, the carbs are released as glucose into your bloodstream. As a result, your blood sugar increases.23
There is a push to make a lot of the menu items at your favorite fast food restaurants healthier. Some of the things we’re seeing include: Fresher ingredients, less foods containing trans fats and nutritional information for each meal.
What’s Being Done at Restaurants?
Options with Less Foods Containing Trans Fats25
Availability of Nutritional Information for Each Meal26
Don’t Risk It.
Eating too much fast food can increase your risk for developing serious health conditions.
60% of Americans are overweight or obese.27 Obesity can increase the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, cancer, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis, respiratory problems, and other illnesses.28
Eating Healthy on a Busy Schedule
A guide with tips to make fast food work for you.
If you feel you’re too busy to eat healthy— think again. You can make small, subtle changes to your diet and reap big benefits.