A common held belief is that income influences a person’s inclination to eat fast food: the lower the income level the greater the inclination to make unhealthy choices, hence the higher rates of obesity.
Dr. Patricia Smith, an economics professor at the University of Michigan, and Ohio State labor professor Dr. Jay Zagorsky, took a deep dive into the numbers and found income level isn’t the determining factor. “Wealth and income didn’t have that big of an impact on eating fast food, but whether you were working and the number of hours worked did, so it’s convenience that drives a lot of our demand for fast food,” Dr. Smith tells KTRH News.
And that begs the question. Who does visit McDonalds the most?
“We don’t find that big of difference between fast food consumption between rich, poor and the middle class, but what difference we do see is that in the middle income and wealth ranges, they’re eating fast food more frequently,” says Dr. Smith.