Information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that, somewhere in the range of 2013 and 2016, 36.6 percent of adults in the United States ate fast food on some random day.
In addition to this, a study conducted by University of Connecticut researchers in 2018. Around 74 percent of parents buy unhealthful foods for their children in fast food restaurants.
Presently, another study proposes that most fast food restaurant menus have not, actually, become more healthful in general. However, there is the expansion of some ostensibly increasingly healthy choices.
The scientists analyzed the assortment, portion size, and nutrition of entrées, sides, and sweets. These foods were offered by 10 of the most well-known fast food chains in the U.S. over a time of approximately 3 decades. Based on menus they made accessible at three points in time: in 1986, 1991, and 2016.
The group investigated menus from Arby’s, Burger King, Carl’s Jr., Dairy Queen, Hardee’s, Jack in the Box, KFC, Long John Silver’s, McDonald’s, and Wendy’s.
In the study paper — which shows up in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics — the agents clarify their focus, taking note of that, “These restaurants were chosen because the nutritional information on the key nutritional variables of portion size, energy, and sodium was available for each of the 3 years being analyzed.”
According to Medical News Today, “Given the popularity of fast food, our study highlights one of the changes in our food environment that is likely part of the reason for the increase in obesity and related chronic conditions over the past several decades, which are now among the main causes of death in the U.S.,” says lead investigator Megan McCrory, Ph.D.
How is the fast food unhealthier today than it was in years past?
A study recently published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that entrées served at the main 10 fast food giants. They have expanded in portion size by 39 grams, which is equivalent to around 90 calories, since 1986. While 90 calories may not appear to be a huge number. Consider how that number multiplies dependent on how regularly you consume fast food. Suppose an individual eats one fast food supper, with no sides, once a week. That individual expends around 4,680 calories more for each year from that one fast food dinner alone than they would have in 1986. Also, fast food entrées contain generally 13.8 percent more sodium than they did three decades prior.
Fast food still causes chronic conditions:
The analysts took a gander at how entrées, sides, and pastries changed on these fast food restaurants’ menus over the 30-year span.
Moreover, they focused on changes in caloric content, portion size, energy density and sodium, iron, and calcium contents.
In the first place, the analysts say that the variety of foods that these restaurants offered expanded at a high rate of 22.9 things, or 226 percent, every year.
However, as the variety expanded, so did the caloric content of the sustenance things on offer, as portioned size.
The team found a link between higher caloric content and larger portion sizes. These increased by 13 grams per decade for entrées and 24 grams per decade for desserts. At the same time, sodium (salt) content also went up among each food type.
“Our study offers some insights on how fast food may be helping to fuel the continuing problem of obesity and related chronic conditions,” the lead researcher concludes, adding:
“Despite the vast number of choices offered at fast-food restaurants, some of which are healthier than others, the calories, portion sizes, and sodium content overall have worsened (increased) over time and remain high.”