According to restaurant market-research firm Sandelman & Associates Inc., the average fast-food consumer dined 16.4 times a month in 2002. The surveys 16.4 times a month is equal to no vegetables to speak of (except that little piece of lettuce and a thin slice of tomato) and no fruit for 5 and a half days a month. So that would mean very little fiber, minerals and vitamins. No essential fatty acids, just the bad kind of oils. How are their bodies supposed to work, let alone build strong bodies and good immunity, on this kind of diet? Yes the child's health will appear to be okay on the surface, but underneath, the his/her body is getting more and more nutrient deficient. This will lead to immune deficiency, high cholesterol, and diseases showing up at an earlier age than we used to see. And I can assume that the soda comes with those meals as well. Sodas are so acidic that studies have been done on them to see how much they are affecting teenage athletes and their mineral balance. Minerals are pulled from tissue and bone to keep the blood pH in balance to buffer the acids of the sodas. This leads to osteoporosis in teenagers. In addition to eating at fast food places, how much fast food and non nutritive food is eaten at home? From what I see in shopping carts at the grocery store, a great deal. So reality is that many children are getting considerably less real food than they were 20 years ago. Is this a real problem? Yes! I have done nutritional counseling for young adults who ate nothing but fast foods for every meal.
One that sticks in my mind was a young man that said he was too busy with his job and just drove by the fast food place for his meals. And one 19 year old female was so tired, ill and overweight that she could hardly get off the couch. Her mom cooked regular meals at home, but this young lady insisted on fast foods for her meals instead: donuts for breakfast, and driving to fast food restaurants for the other two meals. Because of her poor eating habits and eating fast foods, my brothers step daughter was diagnosed with osteoporosis by the time she was 18. She is 20 now, still eats a lot of fast food and does not "get it" when it comes to what osteoporosis means to her health now and in the future. What might some of the affects be of this diet lifestyle? Constipation. Acne. Growing pains/leg aches. Not being able to think clearly. Attention Deficit Disorder. Moody. Hyperactivity. Blood sugar disorders including Diabetes. Possibly osteoporosis. Menstrual problems for girls. Getting the flu and colds often. Bad breath/body odor. Overweight. Becoming overly acidic. Continued hunger, even though the child ate. No energy. The list goes on and on. You as the adult have a responsibility to educate your child. If you don't take responsibility, the advertising for fast food and peer pressure from the other children will get to them. Their taste buds get trained for these flavors by the MSG and flavor enhancers added to addict them to fast food. And these chemicals affect the brain, making it harder for the child to think clearly.
Show your child you love them and care about what happens to them. Guide them, lead them, set the example for them. They need to know the truth about the importance of eating fruits and vegetables. They need to know the consequences of drinking sodas and eating fast food. Please educate your kids that their food choices have serious consequences.