A new government report has shown that about a third of US kids and teens get 12 percent (12%) of their daily calories from fast food products such as burgers, pizza and french fries.
The research team informed that this figure hasn’t changed since the 1990s. While that may sound alarming, Cheryl Fryar, study author and field experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), chooses to see this as a good thing. She said that at least researchers are not seeing the number go up.
What’s more, the amount of daily calories that kids get from fast food products has also stayed the same since the 1990s – 12 percent (12%), which is not far from what an average adult gets from fast food products – 11 percent (11%).
Researchers and health experts agree that these products are rich in calories and that they play a major role in the overweight and obesity epidemic. Childhood obesity rates are currently at about 17 percent (17%) in the United States.
To reach these conclusions, a team of researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention surveyed about 3.100 subjects. All of them were kids and teens with the age between 2 and 19 (the really young ones had their parents answer for them), and all of them were asked about what they ate in the 24 hours before the survey.
On average, the results showed that teens got around 17 percent (17%) of their daily calories from fast food products, while younger kids got around 9 percent (9%) of their daily calories from fast food products.
European American, African American and Hispanic kids all got an average of about 12 percent (12%) of their daily calories from fast food products, while Asian American kids got an average of 8 percent (8%) of their daily calories from fast food products.
Fryar noted that even though previous studies have found differences between families with different income levels, the new study did not reveal any.
It’s worth mentioning that the authors did not give calorie totals, however other researchers suggested that kids and teens get about 1.900 of their daily calories from fast food products.
Keeping in mind that some kids consume more calories than others, the average is somewhere around 245 daily calories from fast food products. This is also the equivalent of an average McDonald’s burger.
Field experts worry about these results not only because fast food products have a negative impact on the physical health of an individual, but also because they have a negative impact on the mental health of an individual. Earlier studies have shown that people who eat at fast food restaurants too often may suffer some cognitive decline.
Government and state officials are actively trying to keep the situation under control. For instance, New York council members have recently proposed a bill that required fast food chains to reduce the amount of calories, fat and sodium found in products aimed at kids. Restaurants are also being told to add more fruits, vegetables and whole grains to their menus.
The new report was released earlier today, September 16, 2015, by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.