Frequent Fast-Food Eating Linked To Childhood Obesity Problems - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

01/05/04 - United States

Frequent Fast-Food Eating Linked To Childhood Obesity Problems

by Stuart Burson

A recent study says kids today eat five times more fast food than they did in 1970. One third of children ages four to nineteen eat fast food every day. And while the study does not blame the fast food industry for the nation's growing obesity problem, experts say it is definitely a factor.

Fast food is big business in America. But it's also making our children bigger, too. Thirty percent of kids in the U.S. are overweight, while fifteen percent are obese. A recent study says that kids who eat a lot of fast food also consume more fats, sugars, and carbohydrates, and less fruits and vegetables than kids who don't over-eat fast food.

Some parents say they don't have a choice.

"It's just the fast pace of our lives. They're in dance just about every day of the week, and my husband and i both work, so it's just not enough time." says one parent we spoke with at Lufkin Mall.

Experts say it's up to parents to teach their kids responsible eating habits.

"There's no kid out there that wants to be overweight. So parents have to present nutrition and activity in a way that will be received well by the child. In other words we have to get children involved in accepting the responsibility for their own behaviors." says nutritionist Tim Scallon.

Scallon says far too many kids today lead inactive lifestyles, and he says that contributes to childhood obesity just as much as poor eating habits. He says kids need to spend at least one hour every day in some sort of physical activity.

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