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More American Kids Eating Fast Food
Date:8/9/2011

tudy authors pointed out the fact that the fast-food restaurant was located inside a children's hospital may have influenced their results since the families' options may have been limited. Although they had the families' receipts, the researchers admitted they had no way of confirming exactly how much each person ate.

The study, published in the journal Childhood Obesity, also revealed that families went to the fast-food restaurant for the following reasons:

  • The children (and the adults) liked the food
  • Convenience
  • The fast food was a reward
  • The family was hungry, and had no other food options

The toys included with the children's meals were not a big factor in the families' decisions to choose fast food. In fact, the researchers noted 49 percent of the families surveyed said that didn't enter into their decision at all.

The study's authors concluded that families should receive more information on proper nutrition, taking into account that people simply like fast food. "Bottom line, we need to educate families on making health decisions when in a fast-food restaurant," Boutelle said.

More information

The American Academy of Pediatrics provides more on children's nutrition.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: University of California, San Diego Health Sciences, news release, Aug. 2, 2011.


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