In 1970, Americans spent about $6 billion on fast food. By 2000, that figure had grown to $110 billion. The nation is also spending a record amount trying to lose weight. Health club and gym revenues topped $19.1 billion in 2008, and the amount spent on weight loss products and services hit an estimated $40 billion. ... One study found that in a community where a casino was located, there was a 12% to 17% drop in welfare payments and another study commissioned by the National Research Council found a net economic gain to some of these same communities. This same study found that jobs are created in communities where casinos are built.