Over the past 35 years, the calories that Americans have been taking in outside their home come from fast foods, whether people earn a lot of money or a little, according to government surveys. Burgers, fries and other common fast foods are easy ways to take in excess calories, leading to weight gain that can then lead to increased cancer risk.
According to the federal surveys, in 1977-78 fast foods on average provided almost 6 percent of calories for children and adults every day. By 2011, that amount had increased to 16 percent.
Compare that to restaurant foods where there was waitstaff. In 1977 Americans were getting only about 3 percent of their calories from restaurants with waitstaff, shifting up to 9 percent of daily calories.
Source: USDA/ERS. Across income groups, fast food largest source of food-away-from-home calories. Last updated: Friday, October 21, 2016.