Fitness + Well-being

Study Says Majority of Americans Think Fast Food is Unhealthy, But Don't Care

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 (Reuters)

Americans think fast food is unhealthy but that's not stopping them from eating it, say the findings from Gallup's annual consumption poll.

Gallup found that 76 percent of those surveyed thought that fast food was "not too good" or "not good at all" when it comes to nutritional value. Nevertheless, eight out of ten Americans still indulge in fast food at least once a month, and about half eat it weekly.

The study suggests that cost, convenience and taste are the three fast-food factors that often trump health concerns in many consumers' minds.

Gallup's analysis also found an interesting correlation between income and fast-food, with wealthier Americans eating more of it than lower-income individuals.

Of the survey's wealthy participants — defined by Gallup as having an annual income of $75,000 and above — more than half (51 percent) reported visiting fast food establishments at least once weekly. Twenty-eight percent claimed to only indulge once or twice a month, and 21 percent reported that they rarely, if ever, eat fast food. 

Lower-income individuals, as it turns out, eat from fast food eateries less frequently. Of those who earned less than $20,000 annually, only 39 percent ate fast food weekly, although 36 percent reported eating it once or twice a month, and 23 percent claiming rarely or never.

"The poorest Americans earning below $30,000 visit fast-food restaurants less frequently probably because they simply can't afford to eat out weekly," Gallup analyst Andrew Dugan told the Daily News.

Income aside, the study also revealed that 18 to 29-year-olds consume fast food most often, with 57 percent making it a weekly habit.

What about you?