Sometimes nothing beats the convenience of pulling into your favorite drive-thru for a quick and easy meal. But it seems our fast food habits are catching up to our kids and a new report from the CDC finds that American children and teens are eating more fast food than ever before. The research is based on data from the most recentNational Health and Nutrition Examination Surveyin 2018, so it doesn’t even take into account the effects of the pandemic. But other sources show American diets have been leaning toward convenient and affordable foods over the last few months.
So how much fast food are we talking about? According to the CDC study, more than a third of American kids eat fast food on any given day, but it varies a lot by age and ethnicity. Older kids tend to get more calories from fast food, adolescents between 12 and 19 get 18% of their daily calories from fast food, but for kids between two and 11, it’s down to 11.5%. The study also finds black and Hispanic children eat more fast food than white kids.
During the pandemic, people have been giving in to comfort cravings, but that’s not the only reason they’re eating more fast food. Grocery prices have been on the rise, up about3.6% from April to July. Plus, parents are trying to juggle working and watching their kids, so at the end of the long day, a cheap and quick fast food meal is easier than cooking.