Often times, when making a decision on where to eat out, the preference of the children can influence the final destination. Once a taste for certain foods is developed, it can become a lifelong habit that spills into adulthood. This influence is dramatically increased by T.V. advertising targeting children who trust the world and are less apt to be suspicious.
According to NPD (a food-trends research company) only 20 percent of adults cook meals at home on a daily basis. Yet, on an encouraging note, consumption of fresh foods has increased by 20 percent over the last 10 years – a trend that will continue. Statistics also show that eating fresh increases with aging.
Education and intervention by parents can help stem the tide of problems associated with gratuitous consumption of trans fats, sugars and MSG by children. But education and intervention can begin with informed parents.
In the U.S. today, Americans spend more dollars eating out than eating at home. The top ten restaurants by revenue in the U.S. are all fast-food enterprises. So when it comes to fast foods and children, here are some of the facts (courtesy of Fast Food Marketing):
- Despite addition of some healthy “kids” meal options, less than 1 percent of all “kids” meal combination – 33 out of 5,427possbile meals – met recommended nutrition standards.
- Fast food restaurants spend approximately $5 billion a year on advertising (no wonder children are champions for fast food).
- On average children and young adults see 3 fast food ads per day.
- A recent poll revealed that 49 percent of parents get a request from a child to go to McDonalds at least once a week.
- Fifteen percent of preschoolers ask to go to McDonalds every day.
- Subway has the highest number of healthy meal combinations out of all the fast food restaurants.
- The bottom line of “kids” meals is that the main component of each meal is nutritionally unsuitable because there are no whole grains, no vegetables, high levels of saturated fat, sodium, sugar and low fiber.
Uploaded here are is a short video by one of America’s most visible sustainable food advocates – Anna Lappe.