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A Growing Concern - Childhood Obesity

( The home-cooked meal is fast being replaced by the convenience, take-out meal.

Fast food restaurants spend billions of dollars annually positioning themselves to fill the growing demand for convenience foods in the United States. Fast food includes hamburgers, french fries, shakes, tacos, and chicken sold at nationwide chains like McDonald(s or Wendy(s and local establishments. Fast foods are high in fat, calories, sodium, and cholesterol. The typical fast food meal is low in essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Fast foods do not provide the right combination of energy and nutrients for growing bodies to thrive.

Nutritionists recommend a diet that is high in fruits and vegetables and low in fat. A typical meal of burger, fries, and shake at a fast food restaurant is often enough to exceed the recommended daily allowance of sodium, fat, and sugar. For instance, a Burger King Croissanwich with sausage, egg, and cheese contains more than 1,000 mgs of sodium, almost 50 grams of fat, and 600 calories .

The American Health Foundation has established guidelines that recommend children consume sufficient fiber daily to meet the (age+5" rule. Meeting the age+5 rule means a child would consume an amount of fiber equal to his or her age plus an additional 5 grams of fiber. Thus a five-year-old should consume at least 10 grams of dietary fiber daily. Fiber is found in large quantities in certain types of breads, cereals, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Unfortunately, most U.S. children consume inadequate dietary fiber. According to researchers who conducted a study of childhood eating habits, (We found that only 45% of the 4- to 6-year-olds and 32% of the 7-to 10-year-olds consumer enough fiber to meet the age+5 rule.( The typical child loves junk food and eschews anything related to vegetables. The greatest amount of dietary fiber most children consume comes from potato products such a...

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A Growing Concern - Childhood Obesity. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 20:35, December 01, 2015, from
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