A third of children in the U.S. eat fast food every day - WFSB 3 Connecticut

A third of children in the U.S. eat fast food every day

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(MGN photo) (MGN photo)

Fast food is more than just a guilty pleasure for many children, according to a government study.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said a third of young people are eating pizza and fast food every day.

Health expert said it’s a trend that’s headed in the wrong direction.

“I work from 6:00 in the morning until 6:00 in the night most of the time,” said Michelle Eckler, a parent. “Even though my son is young, I think we may indulge a little more than we should.”

According to the CDC’s report, 12 percent of children’s daily calories is from fast food. That number has been steady for the past decade.

The report also said that 11 percent of daily calories adults receive is from fast food.

“I would believe it maybe even more than those statistics,” said Quentin Ben-Savage, a student.

Ben-Savage said he used to eat fast food all the time. Now, he said it’s once a week.

“I've been trying to lose weight actually, trying to get in shape,” he said.

Experts said that by eating all of that fast food, children may not be getting important vitamins, fiber and minerals that come from fruit and vegetables.

The recommend having fruits and veggies out and easy to grab or throw in backpacks just so they get them into their diets.

Registered dietitian Ana Zeller said eating greasy, salty fast foods contributes to childhood obesity and puts people at risk for heart disease and type two diabetes.

The nation’s childhood obesity rate has been steady at about 17-percent over the last 10 years, according to the CDC.

For those who eat fast food daily, Zeller suggested cutting back or trying to eat it in moderation.

“"The bad part isn't stopping for fast food or pizza  once in a while, it's when it becomes a habit and turns into excess consumption of high fat and high calorie foods,” she said.

For more on the nation’s obesity statistics, click here.

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