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Diet & Nutrition

Everyone Eats Fast Food - Even Rich People

Another key finding was that people whose income or wealth changed dramatically during the four years of the study – either going way up or way down – didn’t change their eating habits.

“If you became richer or poorer, it didn’t change how much fast food you ate,” Zagorsky said.

One hallmark of the heavy users of fast food was a lack of time.

The study found that fast-food eaters tended to have less leisure time because they were more likely to work and work more hours than non-fast-food eaters.

Zagorsky cautioned that there are some limitations to the study. For one, the participants were not asked what they ate at the fast-food restaurants. Some may choose healthier options such as salads, or they may sometimes just go for a cup of coffee.

Also, this study included only people in their 40s or 50s. Consumption habits may be different for people at different ages.

Zagorsky said he hopes the results of this study can help guide policymakers when they come up with laws regarding how to prevent obesity or guide nutritional choices for Americans.

“If government wants to get involved in regulating nutrition and food choices, it should be based on facts. This study helps reject the myth that poor people eat more fast food than others and may need special protection,” he said.