Of course, we’re voting with our pocketbook. People often buy things that are not healthy. I saw a statistic, Dr. Wu, that maybe a third of the kids, nationally, are going to fast food restaurants every day and that on average, those kids weigh six pounds more in a year because of it.
Fast food is really something that is awfully tempting. We have to face the reality that a lot of fast food tastes good. A lot of fast food is extremely convenient and in this day and age everyone is on a fast track of some sort. We have busy schedules, we have lots of activities, we have very little time to do the old fashioned thing, which is to purchase good food and cook it. So, with the proliferation of fast food, it’s very, very tempting just to resort to that when you are short on time and, of course, you’re hungry. It also turns out that fast food is often times loaded with calories, loaded with fat, and it’s something that’s not necessarily obvious. It’s very easy to consume an entire day’s worth of calories in essentially a few bites.
I think it’s important to note though, that there are companies that are trying to offer you choices. We have a McDonald’s near here, and of course they are the biggest so let’s use them as an example. This is not a commercial for McDonalds. A kid can go in and buy sliced apples there. You can go in and have yogurt instead of a Big Mac. I’m sure that their competitors are offering some healthier choices too. Then it comes down to the individual, the parents and the kids to make a choice. Is that right Dr. Wu?
That’s very true. Part of the problem with having a large fast food chain offer healthy choices, that’s a very laudable goal, but part of the problem is going to be how those fast food choices are promoted. If, given a choice between a Big Mac and french fries, and an apple and a salad, well yes, if you are empowered as an individual and had all the information at your disposal, you could conceivably make the proper choice.
We’ve got to take a break Dr. Wu. We’ll continue our discussion about childhood obesity and how we in our own families can turn it around and what’s the problem if we don’t, when we continue live on the Health Radio Network with Patient Power.