New Study Says Americans Are Eating Less Fast Food

Americans' love affair with fast food may be far from over, but there are signs we may be cutting down on French fries, greasy burgers and other artery-clogging food, according to a new study.

A survey released on Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that, on average, adults consumed about 11.3 percent of their daily calorie intake from fast food in the 2007-2010 period - a drop from 12.8 percent in 2003-2006.

The CDC noted that more frequent fast-food consumption is associated with higher energy and fat intake and lower intake of healthful nutrients.

During 2007-2010, the highest percentage of calories from fast food was consumed among adults aged 20-39, the survey said. But among non-Hispanic black adults in that group, 21 percent of their calories were consumed from fast food. Cheryl Fryar, one of the authors of the study, said that while calorie intake was higher in young blacks than young whites, there was little racial or ethnicity differences in older Americans. She noted that the percentage of fast-food calories in the diet dropped to as low as 6 percent in the 60-plus age group. There was little difference between men and women, she said.

Bethene Ervin, the other author of the CDC survey, declined to draw any conclusions from the results. "We do not do public health," she said. "(But) the lower calories from fast food may indicate that the public health messages are getting through." Other nutrition experts said it might show that Americans are eating more salads and other healthy alternatives offered by fast-food chains.

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