The authors examined associations among fast-food consumption, diet, and neighborhood fast-food exposure by using 2000-2002 Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis data. US participants (n=5,633; aged 45-84 years) reported usual fast-food consumption (never, <1 time/week, or ≥1 times/week) and consumption near home (yes/no). Healthy diet was defined as scoring in the top quintile of the Alternate Healthy Eating Index or bottom quintile of a Western-type dietary pattern. Neighborhood fast-food exposure was measured by densities of fast-food outlets, participant report, and informant report. Separate logistic regression models were used to examine associations of fast-food consumption and diet; fast-food exposure and consumption near home; and fast-food exposure and diet adjusted for site, age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, and income. Those never eating fast food had a 2-3-times higher odds of having a healthy diet versus those eating fast food ≥1 times/week, depending on the dietary measure. For every standard deviation increase in fast-food exposure, the odds of consuming fast food near home increased 11%-61% and the odds of a healthy diet decreased 3%-17%, depending on the model. Results show that fast-food consumption and neighborhood fast-food exposure are associated with poorer diet. Interventions that reduce exposure to fast food and/or promote individual behavior change may be helpful.
- residence characteristics