Byline: SEAN POULTER
BRITONS have munched their way to the top of the European fast food league - outspending their neighbours on hamburgers, pizzas and fried chicken.
Average spending on fast food has soared to [pounds sterling]41 a year - equivalent to a McDonald's burger once every five days for every person.
In a study of the five major European economies, Britain's fast food bill was [pounds sterling]2.42billion a year - way ahead of France, Germany, Spain and Italy.
The study did not consider other fast foods such as fish and chips, which would have added even greater weight to the argument that we prefer a quick takeaway than cooking our own healthy meals.
Government healthy eating messages appear to have been swamped by the enormous growth in the fast food business, especially among the big chains.
Britons are also expanding - more than 35 per cent of us are considered clinically overweight.
France ranked second with a fast food bill of [pounds sterling]1.7billion, an average of [pounds sterling]29 per head. Germany is third at [pounds sterling]1.68billion, or [pounds sterling]20 per head, followed by Spain at [pounds sterling]427million, or [pounds sterling]11 and Italy at [pounds sterling]176million, or [pounds sterling]3. …