A government report has revealed that around a third of American kids and teens take 12 percent (12%) of their calories from fast food products, on a daily basis.
A group of researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say that his number has remained unchanged since the 1990s.
But while some might think that this is a worrisome finding, Cheryl Fryar, field experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and study author, chooses to focus on the good side of things. She is grateful that at least number isn’t going up.
And the amount of calories that kids and teens take from fast food products on a daily basis isn’t going up either. It has also remained unchanged since the 1990s, 12 percent (12%) to be exact. This is close to what an average adult takes from fast food products on a daily basis, 11 percent (11%), according to previous research.
Health experts and researchers have always warned that these types of products have too many calories and are one of the main factors contributing to the overweight and obesity epidemic. Childhood obesity rates are estimated to be about 17 percent (17%) in the US alone.
For their study, the CDC researchers picked out about 3.100 kids and teens in the 2 to 19 age range, and asked them what and where they ate in the 24 hours leading up to the survey. Those too young to answer for themselves had their parents speak on their behalf.
The results showed that teens took an average of around 17 percent (17%) of their calories from fast food products, on a daily basis, whereas younger kids only took an average of around 9 percent (9%) of their calories from fast food products, on a daily basis.
Hispanic, African American and European American kids and teens all took an average of around 12 percent (12%) of their calories from fast food products, on a daily basis, whereas Asian American kids and teens only took an average of around 8 percent (8%) of their calories from fast food products, on a daily basis.
What’s interesting is that earlier studies have found some fast food consumption differences between families with a low income and families with a high income, but Fryar informed that the study she and her colleagues conducted did not detect any.
While the study authors did not offer calorie totals, previous investigations indicated that US kids and teens take about 1.900 of their calories from fast food products, on a daily basis.
Since some kids consume more food than others, field experts say that the average is around 245 calories from fast food products, on a daily basis. This is the equivalent of what can be found in an average McDonald’s burger.
Many health experts concern themselves with these results because fast food products have been shown to not only impact the physical health of a person, but also their mental health.
A study from last December has concluded that fifth graders who had a habit of eating at fast food restaurants had lower scores in reading, math, and science, in the eighth grade, compared to their peers who didn’t frequent fast food restaurants in the fifth grade.
Officials are doing what they can to try and keep the damage under control. One of the most recent efforts comes from New York council members. They’ve proposed a bill that demands fast food restaurants add more whole grains, vegetables and fruits to their menus, and reduce the sodium, fat and calories in products aimed at kids.
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