Study: It's Not McDonald's Fault Our Kids Are Fat
It's the fatty, sugary foods they're eating the rest of the time that's to blame: study
By Arden Dier, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 17, 2014 8:59 AM CST
Shown is a Happy Meal at a McDonald's restaurant in San Francisco, Monday, Nov. 8, 2010.   (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

(Newser) – Fast food isn't making your kids fat—not really. What's truly behind the trend of childhood obesity are the sodas, frozen pizzas, and cookies consumed at home, school, and whenever kids aren't in a McDonald's or Burger King booth—a "Western diet" high in saturated fats and added sugars, according to a new study. Researchers looked at the eating habits of 4,466 American kids, aged 2 to 18, and grouped them based on what they ate when they weren't eating fast food. What they found: Those with the highest rates of being overweight or obese ate a Western diet—even if they ate no fast food; on the flip side, those who were high fast-food consumers but otherwise ate a "prudent" diet were much less likely to be overweight or obese, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The more often a child ate at fast food spots, however, the more likely he or she was to follow a similar diet at home. But "just because children who eat more fast food are the most likely to become obese does not prove that calories from fast foods bear the brunt of the blame," one author says, per Red Orbit. In fact, health campaigns targeting fast-food restaurants may be "overestimated" in that they are "not sufficient to reduce child obesity if the remainder of the diet is not addressed."

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trailmix
Jan 20, 2014 9:27 PM CST
" sodas, frozen pizzas, and cookies " Well mcdonalds don't sell frozen pizzas but sodas and cookies, Yea that they do sell and milkshakes loaded with HFCS , Salt, fat and sugar. Basic fast food
Lefty_Libby
Jan 19, 2014 1:58 PM CST
Today's kids are fat, because it often takes two incomes to support the family. Mothers aren't home cooking healthy meals, and watching over the safety of their children, homes and neighborhoods. We are strangers, instead of neighbors in our communities, so kids can't go outside and run around like we did. Instead of playing lot ball, tag, and hide 'n seek, they sit on the sofa and play video games and eat from the microwave, because mom is at work. Today's kids are fat, because corporate greed destroyed the American family, and with it, America's neighborhoods and our society.
Lou Bernardo
Jan 19, 2014 1:10 PM CST
Kids sit around the house playing video games and watching TV and don't goi out and play like they used to do. The idea there are preditors lurking everywhere ready to grab them is media hype. There's always been those people around and always will be. any kid that's ambitious and full of energy and wants to get exercise is turned into a quite zombie with Ritlin.