Is there actually a connection between childhood obesity and fast food? The reply will differ depending upon whom you ask. Obviously the fast food industry would like to deny such a connection. But parents had best consider the facts. Obesity isn’t only a problem of how a youngster looks. It also means many dangerous and often fatal health conditions. Being heavy is linked to bronchial asthma, arthritis, joint damage, heard disease, diabetes, gout, sleep apnea, respiratory distress, and chronic pain. So, thinking about whether or not childhood obesity and fast food are linked can mean preserving a child’s health. Let’s look at this matter a bit closer.
One reason to think that there’s a connection between childhood obesity and fast food is that obesity is a modern problem. Doctors have never seen as many cases of it in the past as they do now. It appears as if it’s no coincidence that we also have more fast food restaurants now than ever before! These restaurants are on just about every street corner in the U.S. They are even inside of many businesses such as retail stores, libraries, office buildings, and even schools. But the number of restaurants and the number of cases of children being overweight does not itself prove that there’s a connection between childhood obesity and fast food.
However, you would do well to look at the types of foods dished out at fast food restaurants. With this in mind, the association between childhood obesity and fast food may be more evident. Almost all items on a fast food menu are very calorie-dense. This means that they have a lot of calories for the amount of food you’re eating. Almost all average sized hamburgers have about 500 or more calories. Liken that to a turkey sandwich on wheat bread which might have around 200 calories. And, naturally, along with the hamburger comes fries and a soda, and possibly even a milkshake or dessert.
The association between childhood obesity and fast food gets obvious when you think about how frequently children eat these types of meals. Simply one fast food meal can comprise a full day’s worth of calories. A child that consumes these meals many times per week or more than one per day can mean they’re virtually eating thousands of extra calories per week.
The amount of calories that a person will typically devour at a fast food restaurant is an obvious connection between childhood obesity and fast food. If a child is active enough to burn the extra calories it might not be a problem. But a lot of children live very inactive lives, sitting in front of the TV during their spare time rather than being outside playing. Even though the association between childhood obesity and fast food is obvious, the food isn’t the only perpetrator or cause to the problem. A parent would do well to get their child up and active in order to preserve his or her health.