The hunger for healthier food choices

By HSC Staff Writer • Published: March 20th, 2007
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

The hunger for healthier food choices is spreading, and fast-food chains aren’t the only ones to come under fire for their offerings these days. Researchers say the kids’ menu at many sit-down restaurant chains is just as worrisome as the meals you might order by number out the car window.

Officials at the Center for Science in the Public Interest say selections at restaurants with table service are rife with calories, fats and salt. Common features include burgers and fries, cheesy pizzas, and fried chicken fingers.

The group surveyed twenty of the nation’s largest chain restaurants with children’s menus. Only one didn’t list fries. And eighty-five percent boasted burgers.

That’s not all… experts also analyzed typical foods from seven chains to measure the calories, fats and sodium they contain. Amazingly, many entrees weighed in with a whopping amount of calories and unhealthy fats. At one chain, a grilled cheese sandwich had more than five-hundred calories… nine-hundred if you add fries.

Government officials recommend that children between the ages of four and eight who don’t exercise heavily should limit calories to fifteen-hundred a day, and bad fats to seventeen grams. Restaurant industry representatives blasted the survey, pointing out that many restaurants are adding healthier options to their menus, and in general are preparing food in a healthier manner.

Worried about your child’s eating habits? Remember that the recipe for success is to offer a well-balanced diet loaded with healthful options… not bad fats and needless calories.