Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Fast Food Causes Obesity

I don't really agree with forcing fast food restaurants to make healthier food. I think it's our choice to choose to eat there or somewhere else. However, I do think forcing fast food chains to serve healthier meals would benefit a lot of people. The new rules don't go that far. They mandate that the calorie and other contents of fast food are listed for patrons to see. That sounds like a good compromise, but it doesn't seem to be working to curb obesity. Take a look at this CNN article:

FROM CNN: Fast Food has been directly connected to higher obesity rates in the young. The recent health care law requires big fast food chains to disclose how many calories their foods have. But does the rule do young people any good? Researchers surveyed the menu selections of 349 children and adolescents eating at fast-food restaurants both before and after they listed the calorie content of their products. The young people in this study came from low-income communities in New York and Newark, New Jersey and ranged in age from one to seventeen.

The restaurants included four of the largest chains: McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, and KFC.
The results-- published in the International Journal of Obesity-- are discouraging to those who hope calorie labeling will help stem the tide of childhood obesity. The authors say the labels had no effect on the number of calories in the kids' food choices.

While many of the adolescents noticed the calorie listings, only 9% said they considered the information when ordering. The authors note that adolescents in the survey reported their parents had some influence on their food selection-- suggesting some guidance from mom and dad could help them make healthier choices.

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

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