by Joe Thompson for Parentology
A new study by Dr. Liping Pan, MD, MPH of the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity at the CDC showed that childhood obesity rates have plateaued or even dropped in the last 9 years. They revealed that though obesity rates among low-income families were on the upswing between 2000 and 2010, they’ve dropped for preschoolers since then. That is some of the best news we have heard in a while.
Though findings do suggest that obesity rates are highest among low-income children, additional research found that children’s meal options at fast food and sit-down restaurants may contribute to childhood obesity.
“We compared the nutritional value of kids’ menus to [adult menus] in [select] establishments and found that most of the meals offered to children did not comply with the US Dietary requirements,” said Dr. Luz Claudio, Professor of Environmental Medicine and Public Health at Mount Sinai School of Medicine who conducted the study. She explained to Parentology that, according to the study’s findings, the majority of meal options for children had fat, sodium and saturated fat contents that exceeded daily meal recommendations. They were also low in fiber.
“Based on those studies,” Claudio says, “I recommend that families avoid eating out with children. When they do, they may choose to share an adult entree with their child or share a side dish such as a vegetable or salad. These habits will not only save them money but also be a more nutritionally-balanced option for the children and serve as a teachable moment [in which] healthy choices can be discussed.”
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