Thursday, September 9, 2010

5 Most Unhealthy Kid's Meals

I don't know of any parent who doesn't love their kids and isn't willing to do absolutely anything for them and give them anything that they can.  But what exactly are we giving our kids?  Here are a few startling facts about the health state of our children:
  • 20 percent of adolescents ages 12 to 19 have at least one abnormal lipid level (LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, or triglycerides (Jan 2010 CDC)
  • Among children and adolescents ages 2 to 19 in the United States, 31.7 percent are overweight and 16.9 percent are obese
  • One in three young people are overweight - a new risk factor included is whether you live near a fast food restaurant as this increasing your child's likelihood of being obese (International Journal of Pediatric Obesity)
The culprit?  FAST FOOD.  Fast food is high in everything that can hurt our kids (and us!):

High Fat - linked to cancer, diabetes, and heart disease
High Calories - obesity (which is linked to cancer, diabetes, and heart disease)
High Sodium - increased blood pressure
High Cholesterol - Saturated fats and trans fats both increase LDL levels. Eating large of dietary cholesterol diet may lead to reduced heart function
High Amounts of Red/Processed Meats - risk factor for colonrectal cancer

The above list contains the recipe for Happy Meals and Kid's Meals.  But haven't the fast food chains made a big turnaround?  Aren't they offering healthier items on their menus? Yes, if you take them at their word.  No, if you look closely.  For instance, McD's introduced the "Mighty Meal" which sounds innocent enough. However, the Mighty Meal has double the fat, double the saturated fat, and double the sodium that I child is suppose to have in one meal.  PLUS, it is marketed as a perfect BETWEEN MEAL SNACK!  WHAT?Are they crazy?

So, without further adieu, here are the top 5 Most Unhealthy Meals as rated by PCRM:

5th Worst
Burger King’s BK Kids: Breakfast muffin sandwich meal
Why: 95 milligrams of cholesterol; exceeds recommended limit on sodium intake for child’s breakfast

4th Worst
A&W Kids Meal: Cheeseburger, French fries, and soda
Why: 780 calories; 9 grams of saturated fat

3rd Worst
KFC Kids Meal: Popcorn chicken, potato wedges, string cheese, and soda
Why: 800 calories; 1,800 milligrams of sodium

2nd Worst
Wendy’s Kids’ Meal: Chicken Sandwich, French fries, and chocolate Frosty
770 calories; 34 grams of fat

McDonald’s Mighty Kids Meal: Double Cheeseburger, French fries, and chocolate milk
Why: 840 calories; 37 grams of fat

So.......the next time you want to give your kids everything the ask for  - please, just say no.