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Too Few Kids Use Fast-Food Calorie Info, Study Finds
Date:5/23/2013

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The survey revealed that 66 percent of the kids said they ate fast food once a week or less, and 34 percent reported eating fast food two or more times a week.

Forty-two percent of the kids said they considered the calorie information when making food choices; nearly 58 percent said they never used it, the survey found.

Girls were 80 percent more likely to consider calories than boys, and obese children were about 70 percent more likely to use calorie information.

Those eating fast food twice a week or more were 50 percent less likely to consider calorie counts than the kids who ate fast food less frequently, the investigators found.

The study authors suggested that public health and school officials could create educational programs designed to help young people understand calorie information so it can become a part of an overall weight management strategy.

"This welcome research adds to our understanding of young people and their food choices," Lindsey Davies, president of the U.K. Faculty of Public Health, said in the news release. "It's good news that some young people want to understand more about the food they're eating and are using calorie information when they eat in fast-food restaurants."

However, to fight the obesity epidemic, Davies added that it's important to know why young people choose to eat fast food so often. Legislators could help tackle the problem by banning trans fats, which have no nutritional value and can increase the risk for heart disease, she said.

More information

Visit Harvard Medical School for more on children and fast food.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: Journal of Public Health, news release, May 22, 2013


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