In two reports just released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American adults have marginally cut back on their consumption of fat and calories from fast food, but children and young adults are still consuming too much of both. Although youngsters are eating a bit less of the contributing foods, such as pizza and fries, their consumption of foods containing high amounts of saturated fat continues to be above sensible levels.
Data from the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics shows that a maximum of 10 percent of one's daily intake should come from saturated fat, but average consumption by children and young adults was between 11 percent and 12 percent from 2009 through 2010. There is on-going research with regard to American's dietary habits because it is estimated that a full two-thirds of the U.S. population is considered to be overweight and obese.
CDC research shows that 78 million adults and 12.5 million children and young adults are obese, and another third are overweight; a contributing factor to a plethora of both immediate and long term health risks, including heart disease and diabetes. America continues to be the world leader in both caloric consumption and large portions. The small reduction in fast food consumption by adults is due, in part, to a trend toward healthier selections. But, overall, adults who were overweight or obese consumed more fast food than their slimmer counterparts.
The CDC data shows that caloric intake has also dropped marginally for children. For both boys and girls, ages 2 to 19, the data showed a reduction in caloric intake during 2009 and 2010. Boys consumed approximately 2,100 calories on a daily basis, a reduction from the 2,258 calories consumed during the 1999 to 2000 time period. Girls also saw a reduction in caloric intake to 1,755 calories daily, down from 1,831 during the same periods of time.
The young adult African American population is of particular concern when it comes to rates of overweight and obesity. Those already overweight were shown to consume the largest amounts of fast foods containing high levels of fat, salt and calories. The CDC data showed that for those individuals aged 20 to 39, approximately 21 percent of their total caloric intake came from fast food. The amount within the white and Hispanic populations was significantly less; approximately 13 percent.
Additional findings in the reports show that fast food consumption was nearly the same for both low-income and high-income adults, and the amount of fast food eaten decreased significantly with age. With the exception of African American girls, more children are eating larger amounts of protein and consuming lower amounts of carbohydrates.