Consumption of fast food has been linked to weight gain in adults. Fast food has also been associated with higher caloric intake and poorer diet quality in children and adolescents. From 1994 through 2006, caloric intake from fast food increased from 10% to 13% among children aged 2–18 years.
NCHS has just released a new report that presents the most recent data on the percentage of calories consumed from fast food among U.S. children by sex, age group, race and Hispanic origin, poverty status, and weight status.
Key Findings from the Report:
- In 2011–2012, just over one-third of children and adolescents consumed fast food on a given day.
- In 2011–2012, children and adolescents consumed on average 12.4% of their daily calories from fast food restaurants.
- Caloric intake from fast foods was higher in adolescents aged 12–19 years than in children aged 2–11 years.
- Non-Hispanic Asian children had significantly lower caloric intake from fast food compared with non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black, and Hispanic children.
- No significant differences in caloric intake from fast food were noted by sex, poverty status, or weight status.