Fast-Food Consumption and Obesity Among Michigan Adults
Published Date:Jun 15 2011
Source:Prev Chronic Dis. 2011; 8(4).
Consumption of meals eaten away from home, especially from fast-food restaurants, has increased in the United States since the 1970s. The main objective of this study was to examine the frequency and characteristics of fast-food consumption among adults in Michigan and obesity prevalence.
We analyzed data from 12 questions about fast-food consumption that were included on the 2005 Michigan Behavioral Risk Factor Survey, a population-based telephone survey of Michigan adults, using univariate and bivariate analyses and multivariate logistic regression, and compared these data with data on Michigan obesity prevalence.
Approximately 80% of Michigan adults went to fast-food restaurants at least once per month and 28% went regularly (≥2 times/wk). Regular fast-food consumption was higher among younger adults (mostly men) but was not significantly associated with household income, education, race, or urbanicity (in a multivariate framework). The prevalence of obesity increased consistently with frequenting fast-food restaurants, from 24% of those going less than once a week to 33% of those going 3 or more times per week. The predominant reason for choosing fast food was convenience. Although hypothetically 68% of adults who go to fast-food restaurants would choose healthier fast-food items when available, only 16% said they ever use nutritional information when ordering.
The prevalence of fast-food consumption is high in Michigan across education, income, and racial groups and is strongly associated with obesity. Making nutritional information at fast-food restaurants more readily available and easier to use may help consumers to order more healthful or lower-calorie items.
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