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food consumption has risen 500 percent since 1970 and today pervades
nearly every segment of society, including some public school cafeterias.
At the same time, obesity
among children has tripled. This month researchers led by David
Ludwig, MD, director of the Optimal
Weight for Life program, published a study in the journal Pediatrics
that strengthens the scientific footing of that link.
(The fast food industry insists it bears no responsibility for
this epidemic--check out this industry-sponsored group's reaction
to Ludwig's research).
By examining data from surveys of 6,212 children and adolescents,
the researchers found that children who ate fast food consumed more
total and saturated fat, more total carbohydrates and added sugars,
less dietary fiber, and more calories per gram of solid food than
children who did not eat fast food. Not surprisingly, they also
consumed less milk, fiber, fruit and non-starchy vegetables.
Thirty percent of the children in the survey ate fast food on any
given day during the survey, and they ate an average of 187 calories
a day more than those who did not eat fast food. These additional
calories could account for an extra six pounds of weight gain per
year, according to Ludwig.
of the Pediatrics study discussed in this article
Watch: Fast Food Linked To Child Obesity CBSNews.com
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