Fast Food Nutrition Effects on Young Children
Children ages 4 to 17 of today’s high-paced world consume fast food on a regular basis. Unfortunately, that is reflective on the health of the population, particularly the children. These kids are no longer playing outside, but instead choosing a more lethargic lifestyle and opt to play video games or watch television. As a result, they are experiencing many health problems, including obesity and heart disease.
Nutrition of Fast Food Meal
One little meal at a fast-food restaurant yields a whopping calorie count, a high amount of fat and an amazingly high sodium count. For example, a Spanish Omelet Bagel from McDonald’s contains 710 calories, 40 g of fat, 275 mg of cholesterol and 1,520 mg of sodium.
Children that consume fast food are at risk for many health problems. Besides a higher cholesterol level and a higher risk of cardiovascular disease (or heart disease).
Studies have shown that children who eat fast food regularly consume more than 187 extra calories, which computes to approximately an additional weight gain of 6 lbs. a year. These children are at risk for the largest health concern, obesity. Childhood obesity has tripled since 1970, and fast food consumption has gone up by 500 percent.
Other Health Issues
Children who are obese are at a greater risk for various health issues. Some health concerns are diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. These same children face a lower self esteem as adolescents, and often become depressed or have anxiety disorders.
To prevent obesity and the possibility of the accompanying health risks, children should eliminate fast food from their diet and seek to live a more active lifestyle. Adding foods low in fat, high in fiber, and adding more fresh fruits and vegetables can lead children to a healthier life.