University of Minnesota researchers surveyed more than 1,600 young adults about their eating habits.
Among females in the study group about 1 in 5 said they consumed fast food more than three times per week. That rate was essentially unchanged from a prior survey conducted 5 years earlier.
But young males, who had virtually the same eating habits as females at the start of the study, were eating more fast food when researchers checked in with them again. Nicole Larson is lead author of the study.
"Among the males, the number who were having fast food three or more times per week, that increased to 1 in 3 males, 33 percent," Larson said.
Larson said eating fast food in the adolescent and early adult years is linked to higher rates of obesity.