2.2.11 Percentage of students in grades 6 through 10 who reported that they ate in a fast food restaurant at least once a week, by gender and grade, Canada, 2014

Grade 6 Grade 7 Grade 8 Grade 9 Grade 10
Boys 12 17 17 27 28
Girls 10 15 17 27 32

Source: CICH graphic created using data adapted from Health Behaviour in School-aged Children in Canada: Focus on Relationships. 2015.

In Grade 6, 12% of boys and 10% of girls reported that they ate in a fast food restaurant once a week or more.

The proportion of students eating in fast food restaurants increased with increasing grades – and was 32% for girls and 28% for boys by Grade 10.

A recent study found that children and youth have the highest fast food intakes among the Canadian population – and that children and youth get between 8% and 9% of their calories from fast food. Canadians who ate fast food consumed on average 206 calories more than did those who did not have fast food. Age and sex were more likely to be associated with eating fast food than were socioeconomic status or engagement in physical activity. Furthermore there is evidence that restaurants commonly have food with high levels of calories, saturated fat and sodium. The study found, as have others before it, that higher fast food intake is associated with lower dietary quality and increased BMI.1

1Black JL and Billette JM. Fast food intake in Canada: Differences among Canadians with diverse demographic, socio-economic and lifestyle characteristics. Can J Public Health 2015;106(2):e52–e58.