Fast Food's Biggest Customer Is a Shocker


fast foodAll right, friends and neighbors, where have you been hiding the wrappers? Come on, spill! You've been eating fast food behind my back, haven't you? You know about my militant organic healthy food stand, and you think I'm going to judge you if I see you chowing down on an Unhappy Meal, right?

Well I'm onto you. I've been laboring under the delusion that it's mostly lower-income people who consume fast food. What a fool I was! But now I know -- it's you middle-class eaters who be gobbling the burgers up. Researchers at the University of California, Davis have discovered that the more money you make, the more often you eat fast food. It's been happening right before my eyes -- you've all been hitting up the burger bars and I've been none the wiser!

I mean, I knew that people on food stamps weren't eating fast food because in most states that's not allowed. But what I've always considered a cheap meal is starting to look more expensive. Apparently it costs $28 to feed a family of four burgers, fries, and soft drinks. Sheesh, for about $15 I can feed my family a roast chicken and salad. And they will freakin' LOVE it. But then, you do need at least an hour for that chicken to roast -- which means we're headed into time-is-money territory. And we're all short on both these days.

Still, what's the deal? I thought we were all on the same page about this! You mean other college-educated, middle-income people are waltzing into junk food joints and ordering up value meals to the tune of $28? What is that like? Does it feel kind of edgy and dangerous, or does it just feel like Tuesday? Tell me, I'm really curious. I promise I won't judge. You can stop hiding the White Castle bags now. Let's talk. No, I'm serious. This news has seriously turned my whole fast-food-is-cheap paradigm upside down!

Are you surprised to learn that it's middle-income people who eat the most fast food?


Image via ebruli/Flickr

eating out, food, healthy choices, trends


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ashjo85 ashjo85

If it's costing $28, you aren't doing it right! LOL. Four McDouble's, 2 large Fries and 2 large sodas at McD's will run you about $12.

And why do you care so much what I'm eating and what it FEELS like? Just curious. I'm not hiding my Papa John's boxes...

Lucre... LucretiaMcEvil

It's fat people in general that eat fast food.

It has nothing to do with money.

Lynette Lynette

I am trying to kick the habit and now this pic of curly fries is giving me a craving!  Lol, I will stay strong!  At home I only eat whole foods and buy mostly organic but those drive through pull you in sometimes.

Momma... Momma2blessed

Not surprised cause it's usually the fast lunch grab when at work. I have considerable cut down since being a stay at home mom!

mommix4 mommix4

You sound very snobby, I'm not sure if it was intended to be but that's how it comes across. There is nothing wrong with having fast food some times. Poor,rich, in the middle, or even people on food stamps can eat it. And not only fat people eat it. Why does anyone care if someone eats a burger?

Bmat Bmat

Yes it is surprising. and I don't believe it.

LaNahaul LaNahaul

Wow. I'm just surprised by your very close minded article.

"I've been laboring under the delusion that it's mostly lower-income people who consume fast food."

I applaud you for going outside of your tiny box. But... Just... Wow. I truly have no words.

tuffy... tuffymama

I would believe it is the case in many communities, but I would like to see the full data indicating where the survey subjects reside. Also, the researchers (more accurately, the people interpreting the data, probably with a grant or at direct taxpayer expense, BTW), admitted it is LOWER middle class people frequenting fast food establishments most frequently. There has traditionally been and for the time being, there is still a great gulf between lower and upper middle class as far as income, education, and buying habits.

And as Lucretia said, fat people eat fast food. Don't hafta be just rich or just poor to be fat in this nation.

slw123 slw123

No, I'm not surprised.  Low income families plain can't afford it, middle income families are likely to be short on time shuffling their kids from one after school activity to the next.  It's definitely NOT just fat people doing it, although if they aren't careful these people will become fat people. 

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

I'm not surprised at all, fast food isn't cheap. It's cheaper to go to some sit down restaurants than it is to get fast food. I used to take my son out for lunch once every week or two after preschool and it was cheaper for us to go out for Chinese or go to bertuccis than it was to go to burger king. The only really cheap option that's anything like healthy is taco bell but for that money I could still buy enough to make a healthy lunch for a few days at home.

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