Fast-food intake and diet quality in black and white girls: the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Growth and Health Study

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2005 Jul;159(7):626-31. doi: 10.1001/archpedi.159.7.626.


Objective: To examine trends in fast-food consumption and its relationship to calorie, fat, and sodium intake in black and white adolescent girls.

Design: A longitudinal multicenter cohort study of the development of obesity and cardiovascular risk factors in black and white female adolescents. Data collection occurred annually using a validated 3-day food record and a food-patterns questionnaire.

Subjects and settings: A biracial and socioeconomically diverse group of 2379 black and white girls recruited from 3 centers.

Main outcome measure: Three-day food records and a food-patterns questionnaire were examined for intake of fast food and its association with nutrient intake. We compared patterns of exposure to fast food and its impact on intake of calories, fat, and sodium.

Results: Fast-food intake was positively associated with intake of energy and sodium as well as total fat and saturated fat as a percentage of calories. Fast-food intake increased with increasing age in both races. With increasing consumption of fast food, energy intake increased with an adjusted mean of 1837 kcal for the low fast-food frequency group vs 1966 kcal for the highest fast-food frequency group (P<.05). Total fat in the low fast-food frequency group was 34.3% as opposed to 35.8% in the highest fast-food frequency group (P<.05). Saturated fat went from 12.5% to 13% and sodium increased from 3085 mg to 3236 mg in the lowest vs the highest fast-food frequency group (P<.001).

Conclusions: Dietary intake of fast food is a determinant of diet quality in adolescent girls. Efforts to reduce fast-food consumption may be useful in improving diet and risk for future cardiovascular disease.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Black People*
  • Child
  • Cohort Studies
  • Energy Intake*
  • Feeding Behavior / ethnology*
  • Female
  • Food Preferences / ethnology*
  • Humans
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • White People*