Study: U.S. Perfects Convenient Way to Make Kids Fat
By George Anderson
A new study says that American kids are getting way too much starch, sodium, sugar and fat because they are being fed foods that score high on the convenience meter but low on nutrition.
The research looked at the eating habits of 621 children and found 20 percent ate out at least four times a week. This group of children had higher blood pressure, bad cholesterol levels and worse blood sugar metabolism.
The leader of the study, Karen Olson, executive director of the Cardiovascular Research and Education Foundation in Wausau, Wisc., said, “We are seeing younger and younger patients with more aggressive cardiovascular disease, and we realized we needed to take a closer look at our young people to see when risk factors emerge and why.”
“We’re concerned because we know that children who have cardiovascular risks grow up to be adults who have these risks,” she added.
It also appears that children who go out to eat frequently are being fed less nutritious foods at home more often than those with better nutritional habits.
“In a 21-meal week, eating out four times shouldn’t create the high-sugar, high-sodium, high-fat intake that we saw,” said Ms. Olson. “We think it’s not just the eating out but the way these children are eating all the time, with lots of frozen pizzas and packaged macaroni and cheese on the days they eat at home.”
Moderator’s Comment: What do this study’s findings mean for food manufacturers, restaurants and retailers? Do companies need to develop and begin selling
items to account for consumers’ seeming lack of personal responsibility when it comes to eating the right foods and limiting those that have lower nutritional value?
George Anderson – Moderator