Teenagers: They Eat Too Much, Can't Cook, and Really Want Ketchup

Staff Writer
High schoolers aren't coming off too well in the media

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

Let's cut the kids some slack, shall we? They're growing up in a stuck economy which has spawned all these protests, their lunch food sucks, and yet here we are needlepicking that they don't cook enough.

In a Guardian piece, researchers claim that almost 60 percent of 18 to 25 year olds leave home without being able to cook five dishes. But that's not too bad; most kids learn to cook after they leave home.

The bigger problem, perhaps, is that teenagers, more often than kids, fail to grasp how much they're eating if portion sizes change; if you give them larger portions, they will eat more. Larger portions also tend to coincide with unhealthy foods. Sugar-sweetened drinks, burgers, fries, desserts, pizza, and Mexican fast food took up 38 percent of the daily energy intake of kids 13 to 18 years old.

This may explain why a high schooler objected to the reduction of ketchup packets in her school lunch. With Obama's new school food intitiative and with budget cuts, her school has limited ketchup to five packets a student. Accustomed to just "piling it on," the high schooler claims, "at [our] age I think you need to be mature enough to make your own decisions as far as what you're putting in your body." Yes, because all teenagers need that extra packet of ketchup in their system.

The Daily Byte is a regular column dedicated to covering interesting food news and trends across the country. Click here for previous columns.