Here's a study result you might have seen coming: Children who eat at restaurants consume more calories and fat, regardless of whether those restaurants are fast food or full service, according to a new study published Monday in the medical journal Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.
Pediatric public health experts have long been concerned about kids' love affair with fast food, which they say is a major contributor to our nation’s obesity epidemic. Children dine at fast-food restaurants far too often, they say, and when they do, they consume too many calories and drink too much sugary soda.
But the new study, which uses data from a large government survey of the eating habits of children, finds that both young children and adolescents also increase their intake of unhealthful food and drink when they go to full-service restaurants.
Going to a fast-food restaurant increased calorie intake by about 126 calories among 2- to 11-year-olds and by 309 calories among 12- to 19-year-olds. But eating at a full-service restaurant was roughly as bad, resulting in 160 extra calories for younger kids and 267 extra calories for older kids.