Stereotypes function in many ways. They fuel hate and comedy. Stereotypes can cause fights just as easily as they can inspire laughter. One common stereotype is that poor people love fast food, and it’s been proven wrong. A new study shows that not just poor Americans eat fast food. All Americans love the stuff.
This study was written about by Jeff Grabmeier of The Ohio State University in an article titled “For Richer or Poorer, We All Eat Fast Food.” Conducted nationwide, the study debunked the common belief that poor Americans eat more fast food than other income categories.
The true “winner,” if you will, was middle income Americans. No landslide “victory” occurred here, though. Each income category was only set apart from the others by small amounts.
In fact, even the most wealthy Americans love fast food. While they arguably have more eating options than less prosperous people, they still hit up KFC and Taco Bell nearly as much as everyone else.
Data “from about 8,000 people” was analyzed in this study. They were asked about their fast food habits in 2008, 2010, and 2012. They were asked how many times they’d eaten “food from a fast-food restaurant such as McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pizza Hut or Taco Bell” over the past week.
On top of the food-based questions, they were also asked about income. The write up says that “79 percent of respondents ate fast food at least once and 23 percent ate three or more meals during any one of the weeks recorded in the study.” And the results were fairly consistent across various income categories.
Changes in wealth had no impact on fast food consumption. If your income went up or down, you still ate the same number of, say, Big Macs every week.
As with most studies, those conducting this one highlighted that there was room for error in the findings. We found it odd that the study was only conducted on people ages 40 through 59, and we’d be interested to see how age may impact these findings.