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Even health-conscious people eat fast-food

  |   April 17, 2012 at 10:31 PM
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NEW YORK, April 17 (UPI) -- Most health-conscious U.S. adults, who belong to a gym and buy local or organic food, had lunch in a fast-food restaurant in the last month, a survey found.

Market consumer research firm Scarborough found 74 percent of the health-conscious consumers -- 21 million American adults -- visited a fast-food restaurant for lunch in the past 30 days.

They found health-conscious consumers and all adult consumers both visited McDonald's the most in the past month, followed by Subway and Wendy's.

Those consumers chose Panera Bread fourth, while all adult consumers chose Burger King. Taco Bell finished fifth among both groups, the survey found.

"This latest analysis reflects the enormous shift in the quick service restaurants' initiatives toward healthier menu options and branding," Alisa Joseph, vice president of advertiser services for Scarborough parent company, Arbitron, said in a statement. "Fast-food companies feel pressure to change their messaging to a more health-conscious tone as they are aware that the average consumer is now more aware of the healthier menu options available. Though price point is still important to their core customers, healthy menu options within that price point will satisfy the customers they have as well as grow their health-conscious consumer segment."

The data were from Scarborough USA+, which measures 210,000 adults annually across a wide variety of media, lifestyle, shopping and demographic categories. No other survey details were reported.

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