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The average American spends more than $1,200 on fast food EVERY YEAR, new research has shown. A study carried out among 1,000 adults found we will typically tuck into fast food on two occasions every week – shelling out around $12.50 per meal - with burgers, pizza and fried chicken the most common meals.
The report also found many who go for the fast food option do so because they are either too busy, or too impatient, to create a wholesome home-cooked meal.
Amazingly, around one in seven went as far as to admit they were just ’too lazy’.
The results are particularly worrying because almost half of those who took part in the poll admitted they were already overweight, obese or morbidly obese.
They come despite the subject of obesity taking center stage, with shows such as NBC’s “The Biggest Loser”, and also First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign, giving weight issues a large amount of airtime.
Earlier this year, Federal health officials reported a significant decline in the obesity rate among young children, but no significant changes in the obesity rate for adults.
A spokesman for market researchers OnePoll.com, which commissioned the study, said:
“While this may be good news to the fast food industry, it’s clear that many people are engaged in a tug of war with fast food.
“Unfortunately, most people are having a hard time saying ‘no.
“We are living in a generation that yearns for the quick fix. People want high-speed technology and quick information – that means fast food continues to fit in quite nicely.”
The detailed study also found around seven out of ten Americans opt for fast-food up to three times a week, with 7% admitting they enjoy it every day, or nearly every day.
More shockingly, 5% said they had, in the past, eaten a take-out for every meal of the day, suggesting that grabbing a breakfast pastry, a sub sandwich for lunch and a fried-chicken bucket for dinner is nothing out of the ordinary.
And it also seems that just one is not enough for some, as around 40% admit they tuck into two whole pizzas when opting for a ‘quick Italian dinner; whilst others will eat two burgers or even three burritos in ONE indulgent sitting.
As well as the excuse of a busy lifestyle, common reasons for choosing the take-out menu include the ease of having it as a family, ‘it tastes better than home-cooking’ and because it is easy to eat in front of the television.
The study also found 8% of Americans are creatures of habit, claiming they eat fast food because they are ‘used to it’.
But the report also found a love of fast-food doesn’t come without consequences – because the results show one in three admit their need for a quick fix dinner had been detrimental to their health.
But despite knowing the risks of a high-fat diet, almost half of Americans admitted to ignoring their guilt to give in to another fast food fix.
And, acknowledging the potential of weight gain and ill-health, almost two thirds have tried to cut down on the amount of fast food they eat.
But the temptation of a things such as burgers on-the-go proves too hard to resist for one in ten who admitted that despite trying, they have never succeeded in giving up the grease.
The research also showed that a guilt-ridden fifth of Americans confessed that they should cut down on the take-out, but probably wouldn’t do it if given the choice – and would admit they are addicted to the junk-food treats.
* Research derived from a survey of 1,000 Americans by OnePoll. Figures based on 50 weeks spend – two weeks were omitted for vacation, when consumption may be inconsistent and reduced.