I am the first to admit I don't mind going through the drive-thru at any of our local fast food outlets. There are some that would argue that all fast food is bad food. I disagree I think many of the fast food franchises that serve our area have gone out of their way to create healthy menu choices for their customers.

The problem is that not all customers choose the healthy alternatives. It's like blaming the weather man for the rain when he told you to take an umbrella. Some of the fault has got to fall on you.

A new study just released by the National Center for Health Statistics shows that on average, children consume 12% of their daily calories from fast food. For younger children that figure is actually 9% but for teens that number jumps to 17%.

Dr. Melinda Sothern with  LSU Health Sciences told the Louisiana Radio Network what those findings really mean.For example, it makes sense that parents are more in tune and have more control over what their  younger children eat.

There is pretty good documentation to show that the newer parents are a little more educated concerning nutrition and food access and availability is a little bit better than it was 10 or 20 years ago.

It also make pretty good sense that those rebellious teens aren't listening to Mom and Dad's advice the way they used to have to listen. Plus, a lot of fast food advertising is aimed at young adults by offering less expensive meals, unfortunately those less expensive meals are not always the healthiest option available.

The cheaper foods at a fast food restaurant, they’re the ones that are higher in salt, saturated fat and sugar. So, the healthier options are more expensive. If you’re on a limited budget you select the unhealthy options.

Personally I think that is the problem. If the healthy choices could also be the best value choices I think all of us would move in a more healthy direction with our meals.  Until that happens you can bet the burger for less than a buck is going to rank very high on the food chain for most Americans.



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