Fast Foods’ Healthier Options Might Not Help Kids Eat Better
Everyone know that meals have drawn increasing numbers of families back to fast food restaurants, but most kids are still being served unhealthy options like fast foods, a new survey finds.
95 out of 100 parents had purchased lunch or dinner for their child in the last week at one of most famous food chains in 2018, up from 90 of 100 parents in 2010, the results showed.
This suddenly increase was driven in part by fast food claims that they’ve replaced on healthy food and fries with healthier options in the kids’ meals, The director of marketing initiatives for the University of Connecticut’s “researcher Jennifer Harris” said that fast foods are not good and safefull for your children. But children are still dining on kids’ meals full of fat, sodium and calories etc.
“It’s a marketing tactic on the part of these restaurants to make parents think their products are healthy,” Harris said. “If they can make parents think it’s actually a healthy choice to take their child there, then it’s good for their business. That’s what we found, even though what kids are getting really hasn’t changed.”
Since 2012, the 4 largest and most famous fast food restaurant chains like McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s and Subway. These introduced policies to offer healthier drinks for the kids and also they focus on their kids’ meals, Harris said.
To see whether these policies have made a difference, the Rudd Center conducted an online survey with approximately 1000 parents regarding lunch or dinner purchases at one of the big 4 food chains.
Published September 24, the Rudd survey found that 72 percent of kids still receive unhealthy drinks and meals when they eat fast food,
- Only 60 out of 100 parents who purchased a kids’ meal received a healthier drink such as low-fat milk or fruit juice, indicating no change between 2010 and 2018.
- Two-thirds of parents chose a healthier drink for a preschool-age child (2-5), on average, but only half chose a healthier drink for an older child (6-11).
- Half of parents received a healthier side with a kids’ meal in 2018, such as yogurt or apple slices. However, 60 out of 100 received an unhealthy side like french fries or chips, since some restaurants now offer two sides with kids’ meals.
The healthy-option policies have made a difference in one critical way, however.
Now all of the parents said they have made a plan to purchase fast food for their child more often because of restaurants’ healthier kids’ meal policies, researchers found.