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Fast Food Cutback?

Amy Goodson, registered dietitian

U.S. adults get about 11 percent of their daily calories from fast food, according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s down from the 13 percent reported the last time the government examined America’s fondness for french fries.

Amy Goodson, registered dietitian with the Texas Health Ben Hogan Sports Medicine program, spoke with KRLD-AM (1080) about the study. She’s not shocked by the results – especially if sandwich shops are included in the “fast food” criteria along with burger joints and fried chicken restaurants.

“I see a lot of busy parents who are eating on the go because they’re taking kids to every sport activity under the sun,” Goodson said. “I would like to think people are making better choices when they’re eating out. For example, if you’re having oatmeal versus sausage, egg, and cheese biscuits then you’ll be taking in less calories and saturated fat.

“Ideally, we want people to take in the least amount of fast food as possible to reduce their intake of saturated fat and sodium.”

Goodson recommends eating at least five servings of fruits and veggies per day, and each meal should contain a source of whole grains and a source of lean meat.

Other findings from the study include:

  • Young adults eat more fast food than their elders; 15 percent of calories for ages 20 to 39 and dropping to 6 percent for those 60 and older.
  • African-Americans get more of their calories from fast-food, 15 percent compared to 11 percent for whites and Hispanics.
  • Obese people get about 13 percent of daily calories from fast food, compared with less than 10 percent for skinny and normal-weight people.
  • There was no difference seen by household income, except for young adults. The poorest – those with an annual household income of less than $30,000 – got 17 percent of their calories from fast food, while the figure was under 14 percent for the most affluent 20- and 30-somethings with a household income of more than $50,000.

For more tips on small, healthy changes you can make, visit TexasHealth.org/Well-Being.

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