More than one-third of American children and adolescents eat fast-food on a daily basis, according to new study.
Fast food is known to have a lot of calories, thus a portion of French fries, a burger and a can of soda could account for more than half the calorie intake that a person should have each day. In the United States childhood obesity is currently at about 17 percent, thus making it a worrisome issue nationwide.
The new study was published on Wednesday by the Centrer of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) which is the leading U.S. national health institute. In the study researchers analysed that data collected between 2011 and 2012 by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey which followed the diets of about 3,100 people ages 2 to 19.
Researchers found that each day adolescents got 17 percent of their calorie intake from fast food, while children ate only 9 percent of their daily calories from fast food. Another interesting thing was that children with the ages between 2 to 11 ate two times less calories from fast food restaurants as those ages 12 to 19, say researchers.
A major difference was spotted between white, black, Hispanic youth and Asian youth. The study suggests that the first three get roughly 12 percent of their daily calories from fast food, compared to only 8 percent in the case of Asian adolescents.
The study concluded that on average 34 percent of those with the ages 2 to 19 eat fast food every day. Kids consume about 1,900 calories a day, according to a government research.
The academic success of children and adolescents could also suffer from the consumption of too much fast food, say experts.
Clinical Paediatrics published a study last year which showed that children who ate a lot of fast food during fifth grade (at least once a week) had substantially lower academic achievements in mathematics, reading and science by the time they were in eighth grade. The study reported that one in five children consumed more than four unhealthy meals each week.
Given the high obesity rates in children, officials have forwarded one bill proposal which stated that fast food chain-restaurants should lower the fat and sodium contents as well as the calories in fast food meals that are intended for children. They should also add more nutritious foods such as fruits and vegetables.
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