Consuming fast food & child obesity are inextricably linked. Eating junk food on a daily basis, as up to a third of UK kids do, can pack on about six extra pounds per year. Its hardly surprising that so many kids succumb to this millions of pounds are spent each year on advertising these products at kids, with the result that there has been an increase more than fivefold since 1970 of the consumption of fast-food & child obesity isnt far behind.
Fast food leads to childhood obesity because those who consume it regularly will take in more fats, sugars and carbohydrates and fewer fruits and non-starchy vegetables than youngsters who don't eat fast food. The net result is an increase of about 22 calories per day.
However, these restaurants arent the only culprits. Parents also bring these products into the house in the form of highly sugared drinks and fatty, sugary snacks, and now even schools have been contributing to the epidemic.
As recent television shows have highlighted, many schools offer school meals which are dense in fat and sugar, and low in nutrients. They also have vending machines in schools that sell carbonated drinks, chocolate, and unhealthy snacks.
With up to 20% of our nations kids now overweight, action is finally being taken. Schools have new guidelines on what they can and cannot serve, parents are being bombarded with information, and many fast food chains have begun offering healthier fare, though data suggests that few people actually choose to eat them.
There is also talk of curbs on advertising aimed at children, but the bottom line is that parents have to take responsibility for what their children eat.