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1 In 7 People Eat Fast Food Every Day (And 38 More Facts)

On November 16th food lovers get a dose of their favorite convenience food on National Fast Food Day. Whether they use the drive-thru, dine-in or get it to go, fast food will grill up, fry up and broil up menu staples.
  1. First popularized in the United States in the 1950s, fast food is considered any meal with low preparation time and served to a customer in a packaged form.
  2. Merriam-Webster dictionary first recognized the term “fast food” in 1951.
  3. Following World War I, automobiles became popular and more affordable. At that time, restaurants introduced the drive-in.
  4. Much like today’s food trucks, Walter Anderson first began selling hamburgers out of an old streetcar body at a Wichita intersection. While the menu was limited, the hamburgers were a crowd-pleaser. When the popularity of his hamburgers grew, he partnered with E.W. Ingram and opened the first White Castle in 1921 in Wichita, Kansas. The enterprising restauranteurs were the first in the fast-food business. They sold hamburgers for five cents each.
  5. The United States has the largest fast food industry in the world.  American fast-food restaurants are located in over 100 countries.
  6. The first Happy Meal was served in June of 1979.
  7. During the early 1900s, the hamburger was thought to be polluted, unsafe to eat, and food for the poor. Street carts, not restaurants, typically served them.
  8. By 2020, Americans are expected to spend over $223 billion on fast food
  9. There are more than 300,000 fast food restaurants in the U.S. alone
  10. Drive-thrus led to installation of cup holders in vehicles
  11. In the 1990s, cupholders were first introduced into car design. Although the 60’s Ford Falcon had the first built in cupholder.
  12. The 1st McDonald’s restaurant was created in 1948. Back then, their hamburger cost around 15 cents and became the restaurant’s main staple.
  13. Every month, 9 out of 10 American children visit a McDonald’s restaurant
  14. French Fries are the most popular fast food in America
  15. Although McDonald’s made the drive thru public, it was Wendy’s who first thought of the idea around 1971.
  16. Coca-Cola and PepsiCo products are sold in all but one country. North Korea is the lone holdout.
  17. McDonald’s is the largest purchaser of beef, pork, and potatoes in the world.
  18. Kentucky fried chicken is the largest purchaser of chicken in the world.
  19. 96% of all Americans have visited McDonald’s at least once
  20. In 1952 Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) sold the first paper chicken bucket.
  21. Americans consume over 216 liters per person of soft drinks annually.
  22. One fast food hamburger contains meat from up to 100 different cows.
  23. A Frosty from Wendy’s contains 14 ingredients. A Wendy’s Frosty, though, contains multiple “thickening agents” to spruce it up.
  24. Taco Bell’s taco salad has more than 52 grams of fat. The fat grams in this specific salad are higher than the fat grams in five regular tacos combined.
  25. Fountain soda machines contain fecal bacteria. Studies show that 48 percent of fountain drink dispensers have traces of fecal bacteria on them.
  26. Annual Fast Food Revenue in the US is $110 Billion (source)
  27. According to the Pew Research Center, there are 50 million Americans who eat fast food everyday. That’s roughly 1 in 7 people!
  28. While fast food may be an easy option for when you’re in a rush, its nutritional content definitely will not provide you the energy you need for the rest of the day. On average, a fast food meal is worth 37% of your daily calorie intake. It makes up 42.6% of your carb intake for the day, 33.6% of daily fat, and 15.4% of daily protein. That’s roughly 3 chicken tenders at KFC and maybe a sip of soda if you’re lucky.
  29. The Average Menu Item Is 12% Lower Than It was in 2013 (source).  Surprisingly enough, the nutritional content of a fast food meal is actually lower than it was in 2012. In 2013, fast food restaurants decreased their menu item’s calories by 12% which is a 60 calorie average.
  30. The world’s largest toy distributor is none other than McDonald’s, thanks to their Happy Meals.
  31. Cinnabon Bakes Empty Cookie Sheets to Entice Customers.  To keep you coming towards that seductive scent, the cinnamon bun maker bakes empty cookie trays coated in their signature sugar and cinnamon mixture.
  32.  According to DD, the chain’s coffee is freshly ground, freshly brewed, and—most importantly—freshly served. “If not used within 18 minutes, Dunkin’ Donuts coffee is discarded and a new carafe is freshly brewed.”
  33. If you are anywhere in the continental United States, did you know you are never more than 115 miles away from a McDonald’s? And the only the only place that is more than 100 miles away is an empty plain in South Dakota.
  34. The average american spends $1,200 on fast food in a year.
  35. There Are Almost 38 Million Possible Combinations at Subway
  36. A recent study found that those who eat fast food four times a week or more are at an 80 percent higher risk of dying from heart disease.
  37. Construction workers at the World Trade Center building did just that in 2010, when a pulley system was constructed to pull the mobile Subway shop between floors, helping workers keep to schedule with quick lunch breaks.
  38. Before kale became the hottest, healthy shopping list item in 2013, its biggest purchaser was Pizza Hut. But not for the pizzas, the fast food chain used solely to decorate its salad bars.
  39. According to the well-known book, Fast Food Nation, a survey discovered that 88 percent of respondents worldwide could identify the golden arches of McDonald’s, while a only 54 percent recognized the Christian cross.


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