Posts tagged fast food

Restaurants helping combat obesity, or are they?

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Restaurants to offer more-healthful fare for kids

It’s something but is it really enough?

Nineteen chains — including Burger King, Denny’s, IHOP, Chili’s, Friendly’s, Chevy’s and El Pollo Loco — have agreed to participate in the Kids Live Well initiative as worries increase about the role of fast food in childhood obesity.

French fries, slathered with ketchup and washed down with a pint of soda, are a favorite part of fast-food lunches and dinners for millions of American youngsters.

But taking a cue from nutritionists, a group of 19 restaurant companies are pledging to offer more-healthful menu options for children at a time when concern is growing over the role of fast food in childhood obesity.

Burger King, the second-largest burger chain, for instance, will stop automatically including French fries and soda in its kids’ meals starting this month, although the items will still be available.

Instead, the company said Tuesday, its employees will ask parents whether they prefer such options as milk or sliced apples before assembling the meals.

“We’re asking the customers to specify what they want,” said Craig Prusher, the chain’s vice president of government relations. Fries and soft drinks are “no longer a default decision,” he added.

Report: Fast-Food Chains Increase Targeting of Kids

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Report: Fast-Food Chains Increase Targeting of Kids.

I guess when the marketers said they would step up their efforts to improve marketing to kids that it meant something different than what we all would have liked it to mean. Improvements in the efficacy and frequency they market is apparently what they meant! I am not a fan of fast food — there was a time a long long time ago – in my early to mid 20s that it was a staple of my diet – cheap, fast, and always open -we can all relate to that.  But as an adult into health and fit living and a parent – aware of my kids’ nutrition and health, fast food places are not places that I frequent. I am not saying my kids don’t go there — but it’s certainly not top of my list of places to go to grab a bite to eat.

Trusting the fast food companies to police themselves is just asking for failure…giving them strict guidelines to adhere to would be the better option but that ain’t gonna happen any time soon. So we as parents have to be diligent in making the right choices for our kids, which in turn will send the message that it’s not ok to poison our kids with this shit food.

(Nov. 8) — You might have thought that with all the finger-pointing and concerns over childhood plumpness, America’s fast- food industry would be trying to reduce the gut-busting, calorie-loaded, fat-filled offerings on their menus and the kid-targeted advertising.

Not so, say researchers from Yale University’s Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity who released today what they say is the “most comprehensive study of fast-food nutrition and marketing ever conducted.”

The researchers studied marketing efforts of 12 of the nation’s largest fast-food chains, and examined the calories, fat, sugar and sodium in more than 3,000 kids’ meal combinations and 2,781 menu items.
…….Beyond the Yale report, AOL News researched the breakdown of calories in the kids meals and found these totals at the websites of the largest fast food chains:

McDonald’s — Happy Meal cheeseburger, low-fat chocolate milk and small fries, 650 calories.

Wendy’s — Cheeseburger, Kids’ Meal fries and a low-fat chocolate milk, 650 calories.

Jack in the Box — Kids Meals cheeseburger, small fries and low fat chocolate milk, 800 calories.

Burger King — Kids Meal small cheeseburger, small fries and a low-fat chocolate milk, 820 calories.

KFC — Kid-size popcorn chicken, potato wedges and lemonade, 750 calories.

The number of calories are often doubled or tripled by substituting other menu selections, AOL News was told when it checked with managers and counter people at the five chains in Seattle. The consensus among those interviewed was that kids 8 and older rarely go for these smaller portions, with large fries, sodas and bigger hamburgers more the norm, especially if their parents were not doing the ordering.

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