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OBJECTIVE: To investigate: (i) the percentage of the New Zealand (NZ) population reporting fast food/takeaway food and restaurant/café food per day; (ii) examine demographic factors associated with their use; (iii) quantify their contribution to energy intake; and (iv) describe the specific types of foods reported from both sources. DESIGN: Twenty-four hour diet recalls from the cross-sectional 2008/09 NZ Adult Nutrition Survey were used to identify fast-food and restaurant-food consumers. SETTING: NZ households. SUBJECTS: Adults aged 15 years and older (n 4721). RESULTS: Overall 28 % reported consuming at least one fast food and 14 % a restaurant food within the 24 h diet recall. Fast-food consumption was not associated with level of education or an area-based measure of socio-economic status, but a higher education was positively associated with restaurant-food consumption. Individual factors such as ethnicity, household size, age, sex and marital status were found to be important influences on the use of fast food and restaurant food. Fast-food consumption was more prevalent among participants living in urban areas, young adults (19-30 years) and Māori compared with NZ European and Others. The most frequently reported fast foods were bread-based dishes, potatoes (including fries) and non-alcoholic beverages. CONCLUSIONS: Given the high reported consumption of fast food by young adults, health promotion initiatives both to improve the nutritional quality of fast-food menus and to encourage healthier food choices would likely make a large impact on the overall diet quality of this group.

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