Fast-Food Kids Meals Fall Short on Nutrition
Fast-food restaurants have pledged to add more healthful options to their menus, but those items don’t always come automatically with kid’s meals—you or your child may need to ask for substitutions. Researchers surveyed about 800 parents of children ages 2 to 11 in 2010, 2013, and 2016. In 2016, 91 percent reported purchasing lunch or dinner for their child in the past week at McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, or Subway, up from 83 percent in 2013. The proportion of parents who said they received a healthy side such as yogurt or fruit slices with their kid’s meal dropped by 17 percent between 2013 and 2016, while the number who received an unhealthy side such as french fries with their kid’s meal rose by 12 percent. There were no increases in the percentage of healthful drinks—such as low-fat plain milk or water—that automatically came with the meals. Next time you’re at a fast-food restaurant with your child, be sure to ask for healthful menu items. Or, better yet, stay in for a home-cooked meal.
Source: University of Connecticut Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, published online Sept. 27, 2018