Fast Food Stable and Staple in Our Grandchildren’s Diet

Blue ApronThe New York Times reported on September 16, 2016 that “About one-third of American children and teens eat pizza or other fast food every day, a government report released today shows. That’s unchanged from the 1990s.”

The 1990’s is when we grandmas went into the workplace in droves and fed our children fast food in droves. Our youngest only ate McDonald’s hamburgers, plain, and they tasted like cardboard. She now, in her late thirties, eats healthy. Does it really matter what we feed our children and grandchildren?

The study the New York Times reported on was, “Caloric Intake From Fast Food Among Children and Adolescents in the United States, 2011–2012, by Sundeep Vikraman, M.D., M.P.H.; Cheryl D. Fryar, M.S.P.H.; and Cynthia L. Ogden, Ph.D

Key findings from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey include:

In 2011–2012, just over one-third of children and adolescents consumed fast food on a given day.

In 2011–2012, children and adolescents consumed on average 12.4% of their daily calories from fast food restaurants.

Caloric intake from fast foods was higher in adolescents aged 12-19 years than children aged 2 -11 years.

Non-Hispanic Asian children had significantly lower caloric intake from fast food compared with non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black, and Hispanic children.

No significant differences in caloric intake from fast food were noted by sex, poverty status, or weight status.

Their conclusions:

“Consumption of fast food has been linked to weight gain in adults. Fast food has also been associated with higher caloric intake and poorer diet quality in children and adolescents. From 1994 through 2006, caloric intake from fast food increased from 10% to 13% among children aged 2-18 years. This report presents the most recent data on the percentage of calories consumed from fast food among U.S. children by sex, age group, race and Hispanic origin, poverty status, and weight status.”

To read the entire report go Online: CDC report.

Interestingly, after all the “anti-obesity” and “eat healthy” efforts of the government, the statistics remain the same. What it seems that is failed to recognize is that modern families include two working parents who are over stressed and overworked. Picking up a pizza or other fast food is an imperative when trying to give the children an after school activity for enrichment of their lives.

This Grandma’s concern was that the children would grow up and continue to have such a limited palate. But that is not the reality. The children, as adults, eat everything. The concern that their intellectual growth would be affected turned out also to be without basis. Maybe it is time to stop worrying and just accept that busy parents must do what they have to do.

The newest marketing is toward a “meal in a box” delivered with all the ingredients to cook fresh at home, without the hassle of shopping. It seems expensive and still requires cooking and preparation. See Blue Apron for example.

But, then again, children love fast food and, with lifestyles that are fast, we grandmas can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Everyone will grow up fine. For once, we have done our share and it is time to let the parents of our grandchildren feel the guilt. . . .or not. Pass along the study so they feel better about pizza for dinner tonight.

After all, at our homes it is pizza for breakfast!



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