Monday, July 25, 2011

10 States That Consume Too Much Fast Food

Want fries with that?

Americans love fast food. (We spent $165 billion on it in 2010.) But we don't all love it equally. Like the obesity rate, fast-food consumption varies widely by region. Residents of some states disproportionately choose fast food over other options when they go out to eat, with consequences for the state’s collective health.

Using government data on the percentage of restaurants in each state that serve fast food and the percentage of dining-out dollars the average resident spends in them each year, identified the 10 states where fast-food consumption is most prevalent. Here they are, in alphabetical order


Just over half of the restaurants in Oklahoma serve fast food. (That includes no fewer than 271 locations of the Sonic drive-in chain, which was founded here.) Sooners make good use of them. Statewide, they spend an average of 58 cents of every restaurant dollar on fast food—and some spend far more.

In 2007, Fortune named Oklahoma City the fast-food capital of America because it consistently appears near the top of the list of cities with the most "heavy users" of fast food. Market research showed that 55% of the city's residents visited a fast-food restaurant at least 12 times in the previous month, and that those fast-food fans averaged 21 monthly visits.

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