Unhealthy Kids' Meals
This week, Michelle Obama brought in some additional star power—10 top baseball players—to launch a partnership with Major League Baseball as part of her “Let's Move” crusade against childhood obesity. She needs all the help she can get: obesity among children has increased threefold over the past 30 years, to 19.6% in 2008, according to the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Using a broader measure, nearly a third of America’s children are obese or overweight, though the numbers have recently flattened.
The problem is double urgent since obese children often stay that way for life—about 25% of obese adults were overweight when they were kids. The nation’s ongoing caloric battle is attributed to genetics, a child’s home environment, and diet. When faced with a mouthwatering cheeseburger or fried chicken strips, kids have as hard a time saying no as adults. The best way for children to start learn to love healthy foods may come from a simple conversation with family.
The Daily Beast examined the data for kids meals from dozens of national chain restaurants across the four categories available for each eatery: calories, saturated fat, sodium, and carbohydrates. Each meal was ranked within each nutritional category, then the ranking each meal received for each nutritional category was totaled to determine the final ranking. Ties were broken by saturated fat content.