However, experts say that the food kids eat is not necessarily the only factor that is causing obesity. Obesity, like many other conditions, is a very complex one and the role genetics or physical activity has is as important as what we have on our plate.
In spite of that, it is still worrying that about 34 percent of the children living in the United States ate fast food on a daily basis between 2011 and 2012, according to a survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The survey also showed there was no difference between boys and girls, but the children under 11 went to fast food restaurants more rarely than those between 11 and 19. About 12 percent of these children obtained about 40 percent of their daily calories from fast food and 12 percent only got 25 percent of their calories from the same menus. Poverty was also not a factor that made a difference.
In spite of the high number of kids who eat in such restaurants, experts such as Dr. Fatima Cody Stanford, who is a specialist in obesity, nutrition and medicine at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital said that, surprisingly, there was no difference in weight between kids under 11 and kids between 11 and 19, in spite of the number of calories that came from fast food.
“When you look at the percentage of calories consumed and whether it made a difference in weight status, [none was] noticed among any of the age groups,” she said.
The study also revealed that kids who had a normal weight or were underweight consumed just as much fast food as children who were overweight. Nevertheless, kids who suffered from obesity tended to eat more fast food.
Thus, the results of the study send a clear message: the amount of food children eat is not necessarily the most important factor and not the only one health experts should consider when trying to help them out.
Fast food is definitely harmful for people’s health, not only because it promotes eating food that is tasty without being nutritious, but it also encourages consuming large quantities of food.
Hopefully, new regulation will change fast-food and will encourage restaurants to introduce healthier options for kids.
Image Source: genconnect