1. 93 percent of kid meal combos from major food chains exceed the 430 calorie per meal recommendations made by the Institute of Medicine for children ages 4 to 8. (This is approximately one-third of the daily calories that children in this age group need.)
2. 86 percent exceed recommendations for sodium.
3. Almost half are over the top in saturated and trans fat.
All of this was found by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, which looked at only those chains that have dedicated children's menus. The report goes on to quote the following "health" statistics for children:
1. Obesity rates have tripled in children over the past 20 years.
2. One quarter of children ages 5 to 10 show elevations in blood cholesterol or blood pressure — early warning signs for heart disease.
3. Autopsies of teens (15 to 19 year olds) show signs of fatty deposits in more than one artery and 10 percent have more advanced fibrous plaques.
If we're not motivated to do something for children, then let's get real about ourselves. When we take children out to eat, consider what we order — big burger or several fried chicken pieces? French fries (small) — right? And then there's the diet beverage to offset things? AND, who finishes our kids meals? Us.
How do you deal with this? It starts with one adult person who's willing to accept responsibility for our children and for ourselves. Let's start a list of what we can do. I'll look forward to hearing from you.