97% Of Kids’ Meals Still Unhealthy

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hamburgervectorFrom Your Health Journal…..”I wanted to promote an excellent article I found written by Barb Berggoetz of The Indianapolis Star entitled 97% of kids’ meals still unhealthy, groups warns. First, the image from the article catches my eye, as it shows back to back to back fast food establishments side by side. As we know, there is an obesity epidemic facing the youth of the world, as well as a rise in obesity related illnesses such as type 2 diabetes, cancer, asthma, weak joints, and heart disease. Some of the major components to a child’s life that contribute to this health issue are the increase of technology usage, reduction of physical activity, and poor diet. Today’s article review is questioning whether are fast-food restaurant kids’ meals getting healthier? A recent study on fast food found 97 percent of the nearly 3,500 meal possibilities did not meet the center’s nutrition criteria for 4- to 8-year-olds. The criteria from this study says kids’ meals cannot exceed 430 calories, more than 35 percent of calories from fat or more than 10 percent of calories from saturated plus trans fat. They cannot have more than 35 percent added sugars nor more than 770 milligrams of sodium. Also, they must provide at least a half serving of fruit or vegetable, including an item that is 51 percent or more whole grain or including specified levels of vitamins or fiber. The criteria exclude sugar drinks, in favor of water, juice or low-fat milk. Please visit the Indy Star’s web site (link provided below) to read this complete article. It was well written and very informative.”

From the article…..

Are fast-food restaurant kids’ meals getting healthier?

Sure, some have added apples or offer milk as a drink option. And with all the attention on childhood obesity and good nutrition, one might think significant changes were under way.

Not so, at least according to a recent survey by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organization focusing on nutrition and food safety.

The group’s report found 97 percent of the nearly 3,500 meal possibilities did not meet the center’s nutrition criteria for 4- to 8-year-olds.

Only slight progress has been made since 2008, when the center last reviewed kids’ meals at chain restaurants. At that time, 99 percent of the meals didn’t meet its standards. In 2008, one-third of chain restaurants had at least one meal that met standards. Now, 44 percent do.

Registered dietitian Heather Fink, though, says it’s up to individuals to make healthier choices.

“It’s a parent’s decision in most cases,” said Fink, owner of Nutrition & Wellness Solutions, a nutrition consulting firm in Fishers. “The parents should be in charge of choosing a healthier option. If you want a healthier meal, just don’t go to fast food restaurants. I wouldn’t expect them to be healthy.”

The criteria say kids’ meals cannot exceed 430 calories, more than 35 percent of calories from fat or more than 10 percent of calories from saturated plus trans fat. They cannot have more than 35 percent added sugars nor more than 770 milligrams of sodium. Also, they must provide at least a half serving of fruit or vegetable, including an item that is 51 percent or more whole grain or including specified levels of vitamins or fiber. The criteria exclude sugar drinks, in favor of water, juice or low-fat milk.

To read the complete article…..Click here

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