Study: Kids Put on Six Pounds in Fast Food Annually

Discussion
Jan 06, 2004
George Anderson

By George Anderson

A study of 6,212 children between the ages of 4 and 19 across the country has determined the average child puts on six extra pounds a year eating fast food.

The study, published in the January issue of Pediatrics, suggests kids are eating five times as much fast food today than they were in 1970. Dr. David Ludwig, the lead
author of the study and director of the obesity program at Children’s Hospital in Boston, admits the study’s findings are not a surprise but says they do demonstrate a connection
between fast food consumption and obesity.

According to an Associated Press report on the study, “The highest levels of fast-food consumption were found in youngsters with higher household income levels, boys,
older children, blacks and children living in the South. The lowest levels were found in youngsters living in the West, rural areas, Hispanics and those aged 4 to 8, but more
than 20 percent of youngsters in each of those groups still reported eating fast food on any given day.”

Kelly Brownell, a Yale University obesity researcher, told the AP, the study refutes an earlier report put out by the U.S. National Chamber of Commerce, which denied fast
food was the “chief culprit in the fattening of America.”

Moderator’s Comment: What will it take to elevate the obesity conversation beyond the current scapegoating to one in which solutions are found?

There’s really no arguing that people who make a steady diet of foods high in fat and sugar are probably going to be heavier than those that eat a balanced
diet.

That said, the study in Pediatrics could have connected the same dots it used with fast food to personal computers, video games, and other sedentary
behavior. Heck, it could have connected the same dots to the growth of the designer sneaker market between 1970 and today.

We’ve said it before and will again that weight maintenance is about parental and personal responsibility, unless there is a medical factor to indicate
otherwise.

In our own battle with obesity, we remain undeterred. We’ll have the cheesecake right after one of Doc Banks’ chilidogs. [George
Anderson – Moderator
]

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