Bad News: New Data Shows Just How Much Fast Food Kids Are Eating



The power of the kids’ meal: fast food still has a hold on our children’s’ diets.

Happy Meals are making kids too happy, as it turns out. New numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal an alarming truth about American kids’ addiction to fast food. According to the CDC report based on data from their 2011-2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination survey, nearly 34 percent of children eat some form of fast food every day.Overall, American kids get 12 percent of their daily caloric intake from McDonald’s, Burger King, and the like. Alarmingly, 12 percent of these young diners get more than 40 percent of their daily calories from a fryer.

These numbers may be a bitter pill to swallow, and the CDC suggests that the statistics know no socioeconomic, gender, or age boundaries. Consistently, whether they’re rich or poor, boys or girls, kids and teenagers are scarfing down burgers and fries.

Even weight seemed to play an almost negligible role: kids with a normal weight got 12 percent of their daily calories from fast food, which was actually slightly higher than the 11.6 percent for overweight children.


The study did find, however, that non-Hispanic Asian-American children ate far less fast food than their white, Hispanic, and black counterparts.