More than half of Americans eat processed foods on a regular basis, a survey finds

Nearly half of American adults say they eat at least some processed food, according to a survey of more than 2,000 Americans conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute.

This survey, released Wednesday, found that people who are older and have a lower income are the most likely to say they consume processed foods. 

A majority of Americans (57%) say they’ve eaten at least one processed food in the past month, according.

And among those who do eat processed food regularly, the average amount is nearly double the average of the general population.

About one-third of Americans have eaten at the restaurant, coffee shop, or gas station at least once, according the survey. 

More than three-quarters of respondents (76%) said they have used an instant-read thermometer at least a few times to measure their intake of packaged foods.

And the majority of people who have eaten processed foods say they are concerned about the potential impact on their health from the amount of sugar, salt, and fat in processed foods and how it may affect their blood sugar levels. 

According to the survey, nearly half of respondents who ate processed food a few weeks ago reported having consumed that food more than once in the previous month.

About two-thirds of respondents said they consumed packaged foods more than three times in the week before the survey was conducted. 

Nearly three-fourths of respondents surveyed said they had used an electronic scale to measure how much they ate.

About three-fifths of the respondents who had eaten processed food said they were aware of health risks associated with eating processed foods at home. 

While more than half (52%) of Americans say they were concerned about health risks from consuming packaged foods at the same time as other foods, a higher percentage of people (56%) say that they do not. 

The Public Religion Survey surveyed more than 4,000 adults in the United States and was conducted by ORC International between July 10 and July 11, 2018.