American children eat too much fast food. Surprised? Me neither … but I am indeed surprised that it’s not improving.
9% of what American children eat is “fast food.” A whopping 17% of what American teenagers eat is “fast food.” It doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor, highly educated or not; it doesn’t matter if you read the nutritional labels that restaurants are now required to provide; the numbers are the same. And the numbers are not improving over time; children eat just as much fast food as 10 or 20 years ago.
“Fast food” is BAD for us, kids and adults. People like how it tastes; it’s convenient and inexpensive. But it’s just plain bad for us. And the habits we develop as children we tend to keep as adults! Talk with your kids about avoiding fast food, and stay away from it yourself, so that you can role-model healthy eating for your kids.
Fast food isn’t going away. But if we can limit ourselves to visiting fast food restaurants once per week (no mare), this will limit the damage.
— David Epstein, MD