This is Alarming!
On any given day, nearly one-third of American children ages 4 to 19 eat fast food, a habit that is responsible for packing on about six extra pounds per child each year, reports The Associated Press of a new nationwide study of 6,212 youngsters from researchers at Children's Hospital Boston.
Surprised? Don't be. Just turn on the TV and you'll see why. Billions of dollars are spent annually on fast-food advertising directed at kids. Those ads are working. Lead study author Dr. David Ludwig, director of the obesity program at Children's Hospital Boston, told AP there is a fivefold increase in fast-food consumption by kids since 1970. Who eats the most? Rich kids. Boys. Older children. Blacks. Children living in the South. The lowest levels of fast-food consumption were found in kids living in the West and rural areas, as well as Hispanics. Children ages 4 to 8 eat the least, but even so more than 20 percent of kids in this age bracket reported eating fast food
on any given day.
Kids who eat a lot of fast food have this in common: In addition to eating 187 more calories on average per day, they consumed more fats, sugars, and carbohydrates and fewer fruits and non-starchy vegetables than youngsters who didn't eat fast food, notes AP. The nationally-representative study of more than 6,000 children was based on government surveys from 1994 to 1996 and 1998. The study findings were published in the January issue of Pediatrics.