Contrary to popular belief, a survey of baby boomers showed that people across all economic divides indulge in fast food. Middle-income Americans were most likely to eat at the chains, but only by a slim margin.
“It’s not mostly poor people eating fast food in America,” said Jay Zagorsky, co-author of the study. “Rich people may have more eating options but that’s not stopping them from going to places like McDonald’s or KFC,” he said.
In every-other-year intervals, volunteers were asked how many times they had fast food “such as McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pizza Hut or Taco Bell,” over the course of a week. The researchers saw that overall, 79% of those surveyed ate fast food at least once and 23% did for three or more meals.
Their results were then compared to their salaries. About 80% of the poorest participants and 85% of the middle-class people had fast food once in a week while 75% of the richest volunteers did as well.
The volunteers – from each economic category – blamed a lack of time for their poor eating choices and said that because so much of their lives are devoted to working that they found fast food to be their most convenient option.
The author acknowledged a few limitations of the study, like the fact that he didn’t know what the participants were eating at these chains and that only one age group was surveyed.