A new study says the type of diet a youngster eats at home is more important than what he or she eats at a fast food restaurant.
At home kids will eat cookies, chips, sugary sodas and “junk food.” Researchers call eating such foods the “Western diet.” When eating a western diet, the study found it does not matter if fast foods are eaten more often or less often. Youngsters will gain weight because fast foods are only part of the problem.
Other children eat a “prudent diet.” This diet includes more fruits and vegetables, less sugar, more protein and less saturated fat.
Researchers looked at kids who followed each diet. And which kids were likely to eat more or less often in fast food places.
Kids who ate more often in places like McDonalds were more likely to follow the western diet. Kids who ate less in fast food places were more likely to follow a prudent diet.
The surprise? Whether kids ate more or less at a fast food restaurant, they are less likely to gain unwanted weight if they follow the prudent diet.
The finding? Parents are in charge of their children’s food. An occasional trip to a fast food restaurant is not the problem. It is what kids eat at home that really counts.
Source: The Los Angeles Times January 16, 2014