WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA9) -- Fast food chains, such as McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's and Pizza Hut have recently been under close scrutiny for unhealthy menus, but now it seems Americans are turning to other options for their meals.
A new study conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that while these fast food chains still make up 11 percent of calories in the American adults' average daily diet in the past few years, this percentage has gone down.
"It is lower than what it was from 2003 to 2006, when fast food contributed an average of nearly 13 percent of daily calories to the American diet," said report author Cheryl Fryar, of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC report found that young adult whites and Hispanics aged 20 to 39 got about 15 percent of their daily calories from fast food. For Blacks aged 20-39, that number increases to 21 percent of their calories.
There are assorted health problems that come hand in hand with fast food consumption, as Samantha Heller, a clinical nutritionist at the NYU Center for Musculoskeletal Care in New York City, is quick to point out to HealthDay, "Obesity in one's 20s can increase the risk for metabolic syndrome, diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease early in life."
America still has the largest, most developed fast food industry in the world, with McDonald's alone doing business in 119 countries around the world.
But Heller is still focused on cutting this number down further, , however daunting that may be. She says,"Fast food is a fact of life, so we need to find ways we can live with it, not die from it. We need to encourage establishments to have a variety of healthy offerings that are marketed as cool, sexy, fun and delicious."
The rest of the findings are published in CDC's February issue of the National Center for Health Statistics Data.