Fast Food Restaurants Attract Active Gym-Goers

Fast Food Signs Image Photo Credit:Ffooter /

Eating fast food and working out are two activities typically not presented in the same sentence. The latest Scarborough report on restaurant usage market trends, however, show that Avid Fast Food Eaters* — those adults who paid visits to quick service restaurants such as McDonald’s®, Burger King® or Subway® 10 or more times during the past month – are more likely than other adults to jog, bike, swim, and play tennis.  They are also more likely to have health club memberships and to have made purchases of athletic shoes or equipment during the past year.

“Fast food restaurants have been adding more prominent nutrition information and low-fat or low-calorie options to their menus for some time. But, according to Scarborough’s fast food restaurant customer profile, connecting with consumers through active lifestyles may be key for building brand affinity,” said Alisa Joseph, vice president of advertiser marketing services, Scarborough.


Avid Fast Food Eaters Seek to Improve Their Diets

In terms of perceptions of healthy eating, Avid Fast Food Eaters recognize that they do not always make the best decisions. They are slightly more likely than the average consumer to say they “do not pay much attention to intake of fat” and to say they “indulge cravings for sweets.”  They are just as likely as all adults to say they “evaluate the nutrition of menu items when ordering at a restaurant.”

These nutrition self-perceptions translate to their attitudes about weight. Avid Fast Food Eaters are slightly less likely than the average person to say that, in general “I feel I eat right” or that they are “happy with their weight.”

Nutrition and Health Consumer Attitudes Among Avid Fast Food Eaters (Index) Chart

Young Men Likely to be Avid Fast Food Eaters

Fast food restaurants have an affluent group of young, single men. Avid Fast Food Eaters are 45 percent more likely to be Millennials, 30 percent more likely to be single, and 15 percent more likely to have an annual household income of $100,000 or more.

Demographic Data on Avid Fast Food Eaters (Index) Chart

*Avid Fast Food Eaters are those adults who ate at a quick service restaurant 10 or more times during the past month

SOURCE: Scarborough USA+ Study, Release 1, 2012-Scarborough/GfK MRI Attitudinal Insights data

Photo Credit: Ffooter /

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