retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The New York Times has a story about new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) saying that “fast food - defined broadly in the survey as any item obtained from a ‘fast food/pizza’ establishment - is eaten by 37 percent of American adults at some point during the day.”

Ironically, the better of you are financially, the more likely it is that you will consume fast food: “About 32 percent of people who earn less than 130 percent of the federal poverty line — $32,630 a year for a family of four — ate fast food daily,” the Times writes. “But 42 percent of people above 350 percent of the poverty line — $112,950 a year or more for that size family — were daily consumers.”

Other data from the story:

• “Among those who eat fast food, 44 percent do so at lunch and 42 percent at dinner. Men are more likely to grab fast food at lunch; women are more likely to snack on it.”

• “The most enthusiastic consumers are 20 to 39 years old: 45 percent of them eat fast food on any given day. That figure declines sharply with age, to 38 percent among people 40 to 59, and to 24 percent among those over age 60.”

This last passage was of great concern to Liz Weinandy, a staff dietitian at the Ohio State University Medical Center, who was not involved with the report. The fact that consumers aged 20-39 are eating so much fast food “sets the stage for health issues later in life — heart disease, dementia and so on,” she tells the Times. “Also, this is the group that’s having kids, and they’re setting them up for a lifetime of unhealthy eating habits.”

Weinandy also notes that “when we hear about a shark attack, we’re scared and we avoid that beach. But what we really should be afraid of is double cheeseburgers and French fries.”
KC's View:
Makes me feel better about not swimming in the waters off Cape Cod and avoiding fast food.